Don't ask me, ask former Bush communications director Dan Bartlett:

“Time will tell, but the al-Maliki comments about a timetable is very close to a game-changing event," Bartlett told my colleague Daniel Libit in an interview. "That was incredibly damaging [to McCain], because it neutralized one of [Obama’s] biggest liabilities."



Meanwhile as Joe Klein says the right's response to Maliki has helped highlight "the bright line of the Iraq debate" between those who want to stay forever and those of us who don't see the point in trying to station U.S. forces where they're not wanted.

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