By far the best piece I've read on Obama's views about the Iraq war - which will be one of the central issues in this election - is Michael Crowley's in TNR. Painstakingly putting together the full record, Crowley shows that Obama was clearly opposed to the war before it began, but cannot be described as a candidate immune to changing exigencies, trade-offs and practicalities. He is no anti-war ideologue. Absolutists on Iraq may think less of the man after reading the piece. It made me more comfortable with trusting him with national security. We need a president able to adjust to changing circumstances, able to conduct nimble diplomacy and unafraid of military action. Obama is no Jimmy Carter.

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