Sen. Hillary Clinton took the unusual step of playing defense this weekend, when a direct mail piece explaining the New York Senator’s vote in favor of a resolution condemning Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group hit mailboxes across the state. (The cover of the mailing, left, inexplicably depicts Clinton making a gesture as if she were either pleading or praying in front of an Iowa audience.)
Clinton has faced challenging questions from caucus-going Iowans and fellow candidates alike for her vote, and the mailing seeks to answer the questions without having to stray off message in public. Her letter also hints at her counterattack on Sen. Barack Obama by noting “I was in the Senate that day” (though Obama was also in the Senate earlier on the day that the vote was taken, he missed the vote that he now criticizes Clinton for).
The mailing includes Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin’s statement in support of the Iran resolution, as well. As a fellow Illinoisan, Durbin has already endorsed Obama for president, but he voted along with Clinton in favor of the resolution.
Clinton’s letter invites further questions to be directed to her Iowa campaign headquarters by phone or online. It remains to be seen whether this is intended to give her an excuse to brush off future questions about her Iran vote at public events, but this blogger predicts those questions to keep coming — and perhaps to intensify — in the coming weeks.
I have obtained a copy of the full mailing, which appears below the fold.