By Patrick Appel

McCain changes his tune, and then semi-corrects himself:

BLITZER: So why do you think he said that 16 months is basically a pretty good timetable?

McCAIN: He said it’s a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground. 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.

As Mark Murray says: "calling 16 months a "good timetable" is something McCain hasn't said before -- and probably never would have said a week ago." Obama welcomes the change in a press conference:

In terms of his comment about that maybe 16 months sounds good we are pleased to see that there has been some convergence around proposals that we've been making for a year and a half. The fact that John McCain now thinks that we should put more troops into Afghanistan I think is a good thing and that the Bush administration acknowledges that as well...The fact that John McCain now thinks that it's possible for us to execute a phased withdrawal I think that's a positive thing and if the administration believes that as well, then I will, I will be fully supportive.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.