David Kirkpatrick

July 26, 2008

Is the Bush administration …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:06 pm

throwing McCain under the bus on Iraq right when the presidential race is beginning to heat up?

It sure looks like it. If nothing else McCain has to backtrack — or flip-flop if you will — on his long-held position on the Middle East lest he looks like one of the only politicians in the US who supports a policy a majority of Americans oppose, a policy his opponent has always opposed, and now a policy the sitting president of his own party opposes.

Not a pleasant seat to be in for the Strait Talk Express. Maybe this is Bush’s passive-aggressive response to McCain ducking campaigning with Bush.

More likely it’s an end-of-the-road Bush who is increasingly worried about his legacy (ahem — torture, domestic spying and ginning up a needless war of great cost to name three key points of interest) and hopes to leave office with the means to claim “victory” if Obama wins the election and his timetable for pulling out of Iraq is wildly successful.

From the NYT link:

But now the administration’s agreement to consider a “time horizon” for troop withdrawals from Iraq has moved it, at least in the public perception, in the direction of the policies of Senator Barack Obama. That has thrown Mr. McCain on the political defensive in his opposition to a timed withdrawal, Republicans in the party’s foreign party establishment say.

On Friday Mr. McCain went so far as to say that the idea of a 16-month withdrawal, which Mr. Obama supports, was “a pretty good timetable,” although he included the caveat that it had to be based on conditions on the ground

Update: Just found this Matt Yglesias bit  where the adminstration (via a former member) takes a pretty clear whack at McCain:

Don’t ask me, ask former Bush communications director Dan Bartlett:

“Time will tell, but the al-Maliki comments about a timetable is very close to a game-changing event,” Bartlett told my colleague Daniel Libit in an interview. “That was incredibly damaging [to McCain], because it neutralized one of [Obama’s] biggest liabilities.”

Meanwhile as Joe Klein saysthe right’s response to Maliki has helped highlight “the bright line of the Iraq debate” between those who want to stay forever and those of us who don’t see the point in trying to station U.S. forces where they’re not wanted.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: