"Nowhere on the Senate trail is ISIL more of a flashpoint than New Hampshire.” 

James Hohmann
September 30, 2014

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A host of Democratic Senate hopefuls who rode anti-war sentiment into office in the past decade are running for reelection now as hawks, staking out hard-line positions on the latest upheaval in the Middle East.

But it’s also true that that no one wants to get tagged as soft on terror in a conservative-tilted election year that’s seen foreign policy jump unexpectedly to the fore.

Nowhere on the Senate trail is ISIL more of a flash point than New Hampshire.
Republican candidate Scott Brown has been hammering Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for failing to understand “the nature of the threat,” as he put it in one commercial that began airing last week.
This has prompted the freshman Democrat to begin quietly running a response ad (her campaign has not released it to the news media), in which she says: “I support those airstrikes. I think it’s important for us to take the fight to ISIL.”
A narrator accuses Brown of playing politics and says, over patriotic music, that Shaheen “always works to keep America strong.”
Shaheen has traversed the map, so to speak, on military action in the Middle East.
When she ran unsuccessfully for the Senate a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, she said at a debate: “I’ll stand with President Bush on national security, the war on terrorism and to disarm Saddam Hussein.”
In a 2008 rematch against then-Sen. John Sununu, after the war had gone south, Shaheen vowed to fight to bring the troops home.
“I would vote to authorize military action if the U.S. or any of its treaty partners are attacked militarily, and to prevent an imminent attack,” she said on a 2008 questionnaire. But “I oppose the Bush doctrine of preemption because it implies that the United States will use preemption as a first option, rather than a last resort.”
Shaheen’s campaign said there is nothing inconsistent about her past comments..

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Brad Dayspring responded that “the emergence of national security on the campaign trail highlights staggering incompetence on the part of these Democratic senators and congressmen who not only ignored a growing national security threat but served as rubber-stamps for a President who referred to ISIS as the JV team earlier this year.”