OBAMA AND IRAQ….After noting several difficult votes that Barack Obama has missed in his career — including the recent resolution declaring Iran’s armed forces a terrorist organization — Garance Franke-Ruta drops a tactical nuke into Obama’s lap:

All told, these episodes have started to make me wonder if maybe Obama would have somehow managed to be absent from the Senate the day of the 2002 vote on authorizing the use of force in Iraq, as well. It is a harsh thing to suggest, but his own campaign is now arguing that “we’re seeing history repeat itself” when it comes to the power of a vote he decided to skip, and his track record on missing controversial votes is increasingly disturbing….If Obama really thinks Clinton said just yes to war with Iran, he needs to explain why he couldn’t be bothered to say no.

Hoo boy. If this becomes a talking point in the campaign, it means that the gloves are finally off. Stay tuned to see if it gets picked up anywhere else.

For the record, it seems completely baseless to me. Lots of politicians waffle on a few inconvenient votes here and there, but there’s simply no reason to suspect Obama would have missed the most important floor vote of the entire year if he’d been a senator in 2002. Considering that all 100 senators were there, he would have been rather conspicuous by his absence.