Monday, July 21, 2008

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Reflecting on al-Maliki's endorsement of Obama's timetable for withdrawing American troops from Iraq, liberal journalist Spencer Ackerman claims the election is over:

There's nowhere left for McCain to go here. Either he endorses a timetable for withdrawal, which he has consistently said would be a disaster, and cedes his only big issue to Obama -- and more importantly, concedes that Obama's judgment is sound -- or he deliberately ignores the concerted, expressed wishes of the Iraqi government in order to prolong an unpopular war.
But the mainstream media have already formulated a new "gotcha question" for Obama. The question which Nightline asked him tonight is "If you had to do it over again, . . . would you support the surge?" It's a clever question because it focuses Obama's immediate attention on whether the Bush administration was correct in launching the surge rather than whether it's now appropriate to withdraw American troops. However, if Obama acknowledged that the surge was a good idea, he would leave open the possibility that the Bush administration might be right about not withdrawing at all.

Obama's answer was that "these kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult." That's not very good and he'll probably have to come up with a better answer the next time he's asked. Maliki's endorsement of the idea of getting American troops out of Iraq in 2010 could be a big boost for Obama. But Obama has a long way to go before he nails that big boost down.

And there will be more "gotcha questions" coming Obama's way.

Contrary to Spencer Ackerman, "it ain't over till it's over."

1 comment:

BDP said...

I think you have correctly identified Obama's biggest problem. He consistently demonstrates inability to provide solid foundation for the strong stances he often takes. Advocating change and making positive advancements within our socieities and governments is a very worthwhile endeavor and certainly should be pursued, but I have yet to hear Obama pin down exactly how he plans to do these things which he advocates. "Yes we can!" Yes we can what? As the election gets closer, it should be interesting to see if Obama continues to try and dodge hypotheticals and specific policy questions. The longer he waits, the more the tide turns towards McCain and the more scrutiny Obama will receive from the media.