Excerpted from Global Affairs: Former DNC chairman Howard Dean supports President Obama’s call for a punitive military strike against Syria.
“Thus far I fully support the president, including his going to Congress,” Dean said in an email to The Hill.
The comments from the standard-bearer of the anti-war left during the 2004 campaign could help Obama gain more support among Democrats for votes next week in the House and Senate on his request.
In the House in particular, Obama is likely to have to count on a strong Democratic vote.
Dean’s support for punishing Bashar Assad’s regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons is particularly noteworthy because the former Vermont governor was the most prominent Iraq war critic during the run-up to the 2003 invasion.
“What I want to know,” Dean said in his opening line at the California State Democratic Convention in March 2003, “is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the president’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?”
Dean recently visited Iowa, sparking speculation that he may try another run for president in 2016 after briefly being the apparent front-runner in 2004.
More and more potential candidates are staking their ground on what to do in Syria.
Hillary Clinton, whose vote on Iraq may have cost her the 2008 election, broke her days-long silence Tuesday evening by coming out in support of the strikes while Tea Party favorites Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are taking the lead in rejecting any U.S. entanglement in Syria.