Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's admission that he backs Barack Obama's plans for a gradual withdrawal from Iraq over 16 months has rocked the Republican Party and John McCain's campaign back on it's heels. Here's Marc Ambinder:
This could be one of those unexpected events that forever changes the way the world perceives an issue. Iraq's Prime Minister agrees with Obama, and there's no wiggle room or fudge factor. This puts John McCain in an extremely precarious spot: what's left to argue? to argue against Maliki would be to predicate that Iraqi sovereignty at this point means nothing. Obviously, our national interests aren't equivalent to Iraq's, but... Maliki isn't listening to the generals on the ground...but the "hasn't been to Iraq" line doesn't work here.McCain has already flip-flopped and adopted Obama's policy for Afghanistan as his own. Al-Maliki's statements mean that McCain can no longer stand by his plans for a "hundred-year war" in Iraq.
So how will the McCain campaign respond?
(Via e-mail, a prominent Republican strategist who occasionally provides advice to the McCain campaign said, simply, "We're fucked." No response yet from the McCain campaign . . .