(Telegraph) Hillary Clinton, under fire from her Democratic rivals who claim she is a hawk on Iran, has dispatched a message to voters insisting she is "opposed to letting President Bush take any military action" without the approval of Congress.
The message to Iowa voters, contained in an envelope promising an "important letter from Hillary inside", indicates she feels vulnerable on the Iran issue, particularly because of her 2002 vote to authorise the Iraq invasion.
She was the only Democratic candidate who voted for a resolution last month that called on Mr Bush to list the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group.
Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Biden voted against while John Edwards, a former senator, and Barack Obama, her chief rival, spoke of their opposition.
In the message, Mrs Clinton, who enjoys a powerful national poll lead over Mr Obama and is the overwhelming favourite to secure the Democratic nomination, justified her vote by saying she had worked to remove language that might have authorised war.
"Only then did I and a lot of other Democrats vote for the resolution in order to pressure Iran by clearing the way for sanctions and pushing the President to get them to the negotiating table."
In a shot against Mr Obama for his absence during the vote because he was campaigning in New Hampshire, Mrs Clinton stated: "I was there, I exercised leadership, and I explained my vote at the time."
Mrs Clinton is alone among the Democratic candidates in staking out more centrist positions designed to appeal to general election voters rather than just her party's activists.
But rival campaigns, one of which passed the Iowa message to the "Politico" website, accuse her of over-confidence and of misjudging the anti-war mood not just of Democrats but of the whole country.