hillary.jpgEvery year I go to a fundraiser luncheon sponsored by group called Eleanor Roosevelt’s Legacy Committee. It’s a group that raises money, recruits and trains Democratic women candidates and give campaign grants to those running in New York.

Hillary Clinton has been a patron of this organization from the beginning, and is often the keynote speaker. As you can imagine, the lunch this year was Hill chillin’ with her homegirls.

So, maybe it made her let down her guard? Or maybe she recognized that a group of politically active NY Dems is no place to advocate for residual troops, or maybe the polling after the last debate convinced her that being Joe Lieberman light is not playing well? Who knows?

What I do know, is that I heard her say that she would end the Iraq war immediately upon taking office. Lots of heads snapped up when she said that (and there was plenty of applause, even a little whooping) and the very politically plugged in person sitting next to me remarked that the statement was “completely new”. She went on to say that the troops had already done everything they had been asked to do: got rid of Saddam, created a situation where elections could take place, surged to create political stability so the elected Iraqi government could do some legislating and work out a political solution (which she said they have not done) and that it was unfair to ask our troops to stay in Iraq and “play referee to an Iraqi civil war.” She said there is no military solution.

I’m not a Hillary watcher, so somebody in the comments may want to contradict that, but it certainly is the first time I’ve heard that and is very different than what I heard her say in the last debate.

Some of the big applause lines were:

  • She said she would “take the tax subsidies away form the oil companies, they don’t need them anymore’ and use that money to create a strategic alternative energy reserve.
  • On pledging to change our posture and direction vis a vis other countries: “You can’t lead if no one is following.”
  • “They say we can’t be both secure and free. Yes we can, by following the Constitution.”
  • And she spent many minutes body slamming Bush on No Child Left Behind and for vetoing SCHIP.

In addition to the regulars who always come like Jerry Nadler and NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and most of the women elected from around the state, Sen Mary Landrieu of Louisiana showed up and I cannot figure out why. She didn’t work the room, so I don’t think she was trolling for donors and other than being asked to stand for applause, appeared to have no purpose there. It was slightly odd, or else ERLC is getting to be THE COOL KIDS CLUB. Who knows?