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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Economy pushes war into political background

Four years ago, Kathy Castor put the war first.

The Tampa Democrat won a seat in Congress in part by pledging to push for a rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq. She called for the firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and investigations into wartime spending.

"A change in course is needed in Washington," Castor said on election night. "It's time."

The war continues today, and about 5,500 Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Castor, like other candidates across the United States, is focused on something else: jobs.

With the 2010 midterm elections becoming a referendum on the economy, politicians are reacting to voters consumed with troubles at home. After nine years, America has become war weary.

But the winners in November will have to confront decisions on future troop deployment and funding. The question on Iraq that Democrats thought they had answered in the 2006 and 2008 elections may be looming for Afghanistan: Stay in or get out? (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:46am]


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