Obey takes on all comers in effort to end Iraq war

WASHINGTON - In putting together the House's war spending bill, Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey gave false information to fellow Democrats, yelled at anti-war protesters and slammed The Washington Post.

''I didn't come here to win any charm-school award,'' the cantankerous Wisconsin Democrat said in an interview.

His social skills aside, analysts and lawmakers credit Obey for pushing the $124 billion spending bill through the House last month on a 218-212 vote. House and Senate negotiators will craft a final bill, which faces a near-certain White House veto.

''David Obey is a very, very bright guy with a very, very short fuse,'' said Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker. ''Given the factionalism within the Democratic caucus in the House, I think he handled it very skillfully. He has a reputation for not suffering fools lightly, and he had to suffer a number of fools.''

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