AP Reports on Iraq Vote Betray Unhappiness, Give Cover to Presidential Candidates

David Espo of the Associated Press appeared to be unhappy with the result of the House vote on Iraq war funding, and to be offering an excuse for the House Democratic leadership (bolds are mine throughout this post):

WASHINGTON - Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled House reluctantly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war on Thursday, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.

The 280-142 vote sent the bill to the Senate for final passage, expected later in the evening.

..... Five months in power on Capitol Hill, Democrats coupled their concession to the president with pledges to challenge his policies anew. "This debate will go on," vowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing plans to hold votes by fall on four separate measures seeking a change in course.

A later unbylined AP report about President Bush's impending signature on the funding bill after Senate passage almost seems to have been written by the DNC, while providing cover for the party's two leading presidential candidates:

The White House expects to receive the Iraq funding bill this afternoon and says President Bush will sign it without fanfare.

Democrats may have lost the first round with the president on ending the war in Iraq since taking over Congress in January, but they say their fight has just begun.

..... I feel a direction change in the air," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House panel that oversees military funding.

Democrats looked to the upcoming votes after losing a bruising battle with Bush on an emergency war spending bill.

..... Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama both voted against the bill.

"I fully support our troops" but the measure "fails to compel the president to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq," said Clinton, D-N.Y.

"Enough is enough," Obama, an Illinois senator, declared, adding that Bush should not get "a blank check to continue down this same, disastrous path."

Their votes continued a shift in position for the two presidential hopefuls, both of whom began the year shunning a deadline for a troop withdrawal.

Shift in position? Flip-flop is more like it.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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