McCain yesterday on CNN discussing timetables:
First the Iraqi government gave Senator Barack Obama a boost by seeming to embrace his proposal for a 16-month timetable for withdrawing American troops from Iraq. But could Senator John McCain, who built his candidacy in large part on his opposition to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, possibly be following suit?
“I think it’s a pretty good timetable,” Mr. McCain said Friday in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room,’’ before adding that it should be based “on the conditions on the ground.’’
For months Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, has railed against setting timetables for withdrawing from Iraq, and has criticized Mr. Obama, his Democratic rival, for suggesting one. But in recent days the debate has shifted as Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, moved closer to Mr. Obama’s position.
In the interview on CNN Mr. McCain first seemed to downplay any possibility that Mr. Maliki would actually ask for the United States to withdraw its troops in the next 16 months to two years. “He won’t,’’ he said, explaining that he knows Mr. Maliki well.
Then, asked why he thinks Mr. Maliki had called 16 months a pretty good timetable, Mr. McCain gave his enigmatic answer.
“He said it’s a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground,’’ Mr. McCain said. “I think it’s a pretty good timetable, as we should — or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground. This success is very fragile. It’s incredibly impressive, but very fragile. So we know, those of us who have been involved in it for many years, know that if we reverse this, by setting a date for withdrawal, all of the hard-won victory can be reversed.’’
Now, can someone educate me on the whole Iraq-Pakistan border issue and the subsequent CBS editing of the interview to mitigate matters for McCain?
Addendum: Obama in Berlin, Ich bin nicht Bush. You can find the whole speech pretty easily at Youtube.
Second addendum: Great post at Kos entitled “McCain tries to throw election, Media won’t let him.” For those who can’t generate the energy to hit the link, here are the last two paragraphs:
Meanwhile the situation has risen to the level of Theater of the Absurd. The media is now hammering the theme that they are favoring Obama. I always knew that the Right would push this theme, but they don’t have to. It is now all over the news. Apparently equal coverage is required for a speech before 20 in Berlin, Ohio and a speech before 200,000 in Berlin, Germany. Obama was gracious enough to take the McCain advice and make the trip, now he is being accused of overstepping his role as a candidate.The media’s motivation is not a mystery, rather a multiple choice question. Clearly they have an interest in keeping the race competitive. They have always been intimidated by claims they have a liberal bias. They seem to crave respect from the right wing audience, and they seem to also crave Senator McCain’s friendship. Or perhaps it is out of deference to a preexisting good relationship with the Senator that they are showing him such kindness.
Meanwhile, the post title of the week from Jake Tapper: “New McCain ad bashes Obama for not visiting the troops using footage of Obama visiting the troops.”