As many of you know, I was one of those who organized the effort to stop the US from going to war against Iraq. One hundred and twenty-five Democrats, nearly two-thirds of our caucus, voted against the war.
Once the war started, America drifted deeper and deeper into the morass of Iraq, with rising troop causalities, near incalculable Iraqi civilian deaths and tremendous expense for the American taxpayers. It was only when prominent Members of Congress began to reconsider their position that America had a new hope for a new direction.
Chief among those who saw the dramatically changing circumstances, and who had the courage not only to rethink Iraq, but to step forward publicly and declare his concerns, was Jack Murtha.
Jack Murtha's reconsideration of the Iraq War enabled many others who had voted for the war or otherwise supported it, to express their own doubts.
Jack Murtha and I have not always agreed in the past, and we may disagree in the future. None of us is right 100% of the time. We need Jack Murtha for Majority Leader because, at a critical moment on the major international policy issue facing America and the world, he showed an openness, a readiness to listen, and a willingness to set a new direction, based on new information.
This is the mark of someone who moves forward with courage, and strength through inclusion. These are qualities which will make Jack Murtha a great Majority Leader.