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Clinton Gets Military Support… In New Ad

As part of her new strategy to go on the offensive against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton has brought in someone who can speak with an air of authority: former presidential candidate and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who endorsed Clinton earlier this year.

A new ad from the Clinton campaign, now airing in Iowa, features Clark dismissing the back-and-forth of the campaign while touting Clinton's ability to lead. "I see that Hillary's opponents have started attacking her. That's politics," he says. "What this country needs is leadership."

After mentioning his own record of leading U.S. forces in Kosovo, Clark says Clinton "has what it takes to end the war in Iraq, avert war with Iran, and restore our country's standing in the world."

In a conference call announcing the new ad, Clark said that even though Clinton signaled she would step up her criticism of Obama on Monday, the race's increasingly negative tone isn't her fault. " I think it started with Barack advertising that he was going to go on the offensive and start attacking," he said. "I think it is clear who started the attacks and why."

The retired general also suggested Iowans would be receptive to the ad's message, even though he decided to skip Iowa when he sought the Democratic nomination ahead of the 2004 elections.

"I've come back to Iowa many times. I've been extremely warmly received here," he said. "Mistakes are mistakes. We shouldn't have bypassed Iowa in 2003."