Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain, Obama and Iraq

Rather than talk to reporters during a press conference yesterday -- he cancelled the "availability" that I drove three hours to attend -- John McCain made some comments during an "unscheduled" stop in Bethlehem, Pa., after leaving Wilkes-Barre. Associated Press:
Republican John McCain pushed back on Wednesday against Democratic criticism that he misstated when the troop buildup ordered by President Bush began, saying elements were put in place before Bush announced the strategy in early 2007.
He told reporters during an unscheduled stop in a super market that, what the Bush administration calls "the surge" was actually "made up of a number of components," some of which began before the president's order for more troops.
It's all a matter of semantics, he suggested.
McCain said Army Col. Sean MacFarland started carrying out elements of a new counterinsurgency strategy as early as December 2006.
All this is by way of McCain trying to explain his previous statement to CBS about the "surge" being the cause of Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar turning against al-Qaeda. (Ambinder has more.)

This one little "senior moment" on the Republican's part has gotten vast amounts of media scrutiny, while Obama's House of Flip-Flops goes unexamined by lovestruck reporters (who give money so generously and objectively to Democrats). They've spent so much time "splashing about in the tank for Obama" (as Tom Maguire says of Joe Klein) they've got swimmer's ear.

UPDATE: Quote of the day:
You know what's really scurrilous? Joe Klein gets paid for blogging. What a great scam.
Bigger scam: He's probably paid too much.

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