By JOHN DUNBAR
The Associated Press
Sunday, December 24, 2006; 5:55 PM
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat who is considering a run for the White House, argued in a column in an Iowa newspaper Sunday for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Iowa is home to the first contest for the Democratic nomination for president.
In an op-ed in The Des Moines Register, the Connecticut lawmaker wrote: "The time has come for the United States to begin the process of getting our troops out of Iraq."
Dodd, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued in the column that the U.S. strategy in Iraq "...makes no sense. It never really did. It is as bad in person as it appears on television."
Appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday, Dodd said that he is "trying to raise the necessary resources" for a possible run for the White House and whether he will formally declare is "something I'll evaluate over the next couple of weeks."
Dodd, who also visited Syria on his trip to the Middle East, responded to remarks by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow that trips by members of Congress to the country amount to a "PR victory" for the leadership there.
The senator said in order to create stability in Iraq, "the job isn't to go to garden spots" it is to go to "hot spots."
Dodd and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., who also recently returned from Iraq, and appeared with his Senate colleague on the news show, illustrated the partisan split over what should be done in Iraq.
The Democrat argued for dialogue with nations like Syria which will help lead to a political solution.
Graham argued that more troops are needed to stabilize Iraq and allow for a political solution to become possible.
"It's not the lack of dialogue that's the problem with Syria," Graham said, "it's the actions of the Syrian government."
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Two weeks after Sen. Barack Obama's first trip to New Hampshire, a new poll shows him running about even with Sen. Hillary Clinton among likely voters in the state's 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
Among participants in the Concord Monitor poll, 22 percent said they would vote for Clinton if the primary was held now, and 21 percent said Obama. That put them slightly ahead of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who was at 16 percent.
Last month, a Monitor poll showed Clinton leading Obama by 23 percentage points.
On the Republican side, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain are about even, with Giuliani at 26 percent and McCain at 25 percent. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is next with 10 percent.
The telephone poll of 600 likely voters was conducted Monday through Wednesday by Maryland-based Research 2000 and had a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The likely voters for the Democratic and Republican primary totaled 400 respondents each. For those questions, the margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.