So says John Taylor:
It’s Sen. Obama who’s displaying Nixonian subtlety in the calibration of his war policy. Like RN with Vietnam in the 1966 and 1968 elections, Obama has enjoyed the benefit of being able to say that the war was started by the other guys. After riding antiwar sentiment to victory in the primaries, he is beginning to give himself some wiggle room. Like Nixon, he would inherit a war that he wouldn’t have started. He would be wise to study how Nixon ended it.
Granted, Obama’s lurch to the center on Iraq and a variety of other issues has been ham-handed.
The New York Times denounced his opportunism in an almost-blistering editorial, which no one will remember in November (unless Obama chooses to reproduce it in his swing-state advertising for the sake of right-leaning independents). But at least on Iraq, Obama’s is precisely the move his critics warned he’d make and pragmatic friends such as Andrew Sullivan insisted that he’d have to make.
If he seems changeable, perhaps that resonates with Americans who were opposed to the war in 2003 or ambivalent but now understand that a too-hasty withdrawal, no matter how much his Bush-hating base may wish it, would be bad for America’s position in the region, for the Iraqi people, and for those who volunteered to fight, bleed, and die. On Iraq, Obama’s doing what he must to do be elected President. It’s also what he should do if he’s going to be President.
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