Debate Live: Maverick, Iceman
by Geoff Kelly - posted 9:50 pm, September 26, 2008
McCain just called himself a maverick.
And now he’s making the attack he’s been waiting for: He’s saying the surge in Iraq was a success, and that he lobbed for it early and continues to stand by the tactic.
He’s relying on this argument, both to eclipse the current financial crisis as an issue and to make Obama seem weak on what McCain and those who gravitate toward his way of thinking call “national security.”
Obama, I think, could have done better than to dwell on the cost of the Iraq war. He’s going to be the candidate who was (at least) skeptical about the war. So just go whole hog: Say it was mistake. maybe even argue that the surge’s vaunted success is not a given. And all this stuff about Afghanistan? It’s a fantasy argument: If we focus military resources there, we just move the quagmire.
That said, Obama does sound voter-palatable on the matter. McCain’s attempt to differentiate between a tactic and a strategy was a suicide mission.
But at least the give-and-take has begun between the two.