updated 11/23/2005 11:40:01 AM ET 2005-11-23T16:40:01

Of the many voices in the Iraq debate these days, one has been conspicuously absent from the national stage--that of New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a woman running for Senate in 2006 and possibly the White House in 2008.

Well, if you want to know what she thinks about the war, don't look to the Sunday talk shows and splashy live press availabilities. You'll find her speaking at sparsely covered breakfasts and socials in Westchester. And boy, she's sounding like a hawk.

Yesterday at a fundraiser in Rye she took on Rep. John Murtha's call for immediate redeployment of troops and a withdrawal from Iraq. She said that she has "the greatest respect" for Murtha, but does not think withdrawal is the way to go. In fact, she sounded a lot like President Bush, urging Americans to stay the course.

But she had a jab for the President, as well. In her estimation, we have not done enough to make the Iraqis self-sufficient. We need to provide more incentive and get them up to speed faster on securing their own nation.

Hillary can get buzz just walking down the street, so it seems only natural that bloggers would have something to say today.

Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voicepoints out that she's taking a totally different approach than her husband did recently. Last week in Dubai the President told a group of Arab students that the Iraq war was a big mistake for America.

Is President Clinton the dove to Hillary's hawk? Are they playing good cop and bad cop? If so, it's sneaky but awfully clever. It keep all the bases covered. She risks alienating her left-leaning base by sounding too Republican, but she has her husband to balance her.

My, how the roles have changed. I recall the day when President Clinton was busy slashing welfare while his "liberal" wife wanted to give everyone free healthcare.

GOP Bloggers raises an interesting point. What will Democrats like John Kerry say about Hillary's position? It opens the door for quite a showdown among the Dems in 2008, should they both run. They'll potentially be on opposite sides of the issue, forcing the Republican to agree with one of them.

And over at Anybody but Hillary, this blogger thinks it's just politics as usual. Hillary is just keeping her bases covered, and will move when she sees where the wind is blowing.

Maybe so, butPatrick Ruffini'sgot her in at #1 today in terms of news buzz, and she is #5 overall in this very early race for the White House.

Not bad for a woman who "has no plans to run."

Today on the show, we're joined by a top White House aide to discuss how the administration is handling this onslaught of criticism. Craig Crawford will be here, and we will also say goodbye to Ted Koppel. His final broadcast of Nightline airs this evening.

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