Bayh Presses Petraeus on Timetable

Posted April 8, 2008 at 1:12pm

The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the progress of the Iraq War has just concluded. But not before Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), an ally of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), pressed Army Gen. David Petraeus to offer a “rough estimate” of when American troops can finally begin to come home.

Bayh, a potential vice presidential nominee, said he did not want to get “sucked into the presidential campaigns,” but went on to ask Petraeus to give the American people a general idea of when troop withdrawals can begin.

“Is it just impossible to offer any rough estimate?” Bayh asked, in the four-and-a-half-hour hearing’s final volley.

Petraeus, as he did earlier, staunchly demurred. He said it was “flat-out not responsible to try to put down a stake in the ground” and estimate when troops could begin leaving Iraq.

“Many Americans will listen to that and think this is an open-ended commitment,” Bayh responded.

Round two at the Foreign Relations Committee begins at 2:30 p.m.

— Rachel Van Dongen