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On the November 11 edition of CNN's This Week at War, during a discussion with CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash, host and CNN senior national correspondent John Roberts asserted that the Democrats' desire to study the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group was tantamount to "hoping that somebody else might do the work for them." Roberts made his comments during a discussion on whether the Democrats have "a viable plan for Iraq" because, according to Roberts, "they really went into this election with no cohesive plan."
The Iraq Study Group, made up of five Democrats and five Republicans, was formed by Congress on March 15; it is co-chaired by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a Republican, and former Democratic congressman and 9-11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton. According to the United States Institute of Peace, "[t]he Iraq Study Group will conduct a forward-looking, independent assessment of the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq, its impact on the surrounding region, and consequences for U.S. interests." As the Los Angeles Times noted on November 13, "[t]he Baker-Hamilton panel, formally known as the Iraq Study Group, has become a focal point for members of both parties as they seek an upper hand in setting the Iraq agenda. The panel is expected to deliver its findings by the end of the year."
From the November 11 edition of CNN's This Week at War:
ROBERTS: Dana Bash, wrap us up here. Is there going to be pressure on the Democrats now to come up with a viable plan for Iraq, because they really went into this election with no cohesive plan.
BASH: Certainly, there is going to be big pressure on them for what we were -- the reason we were talking about just a short while ago, is that because they talked about Iraq so much, about the fact that the president is on the wrong course, well, now they control an entire branch of government. So, OK, the Democrats, what's your plan? Now, we do know that there are several Democrats with plans like, for example, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden. He says, partition the country into three separate parts. You know, whether or not any of those is going to bubble up, who knows?
But you were talking, at the very beginning of the segment, about the Iraq Study Group. Many Democrats are looking to that group to say, you know, maybe our job may be done for us with this group and perhaps the election results have been such a wake-up call to the White House and to everybody in the government, that perhaps their work might not be so hard.
ROBERTS: After all that, hoping that somebody else might do the work for them. Dana Bash, thanks very much, to you Kathleen Koch, as well. Appreciate it.