By Patrick Appel
Reihan offers some brief thoughts on Maliki and the presidential race:

...if you believe that Colin Kahl is carefully signaling foreign policy elites, and I do, the debate between McCain and Obama over Iraq is increasingly about 80,000 vs. 50,000, not 180,000 vs. 0. Given that Maliki has to demonstrate his nationalist bona fides, an Obama victory is a better-than-acceptable outcome from his perspective. And by building trust with the Obama camp, he can restrain any impulse on Obama’s part to push for rapid withdrawal. We have every reason to believe that the partisan temperature of the Iraq debate will sharply decrease if Obama wins. Assuming Obama doesn’t win a landslide he won’t Democrats will be disciplined, including the MoveOn Democrats Chris Hayes profiled. Why? Because they want to win, and they’ll be more exercised by the Kulturkampf that an Obama victory will likely set off.

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