After watching the implosion this weekend for the McCain camp, in which Maliki agreed with Obama’s framing of the issue, followed by a ham-handed clarification issued through Centcom after us officials contacted and browbeat the Iraqi government (moves so awkward and transparent that Allahpundit openly mocked them), you have to wonder how easy it is going to be to continue the “Obama is not ready for primetime” nonsense the Republicans have been banking on forever.
I honestly don’t see what the GOP can do now other than declare victory and join everyone else in calls for withdrawal, but who knows. I am certain the right-wing bloggers will seize upon some minor detail as evidence of, well, something, but for the average voter, the message the past couple of days certainly appears clear, as noted by Chuck Todd on MTP:
MR. TODD: Joe Voter in Rolla, Missouri, is sitting there going, “You know, I really would like to get out of Iraq. Oh, and hey, Iraq wants us out.”
MR. GREGORY: Yeah.
MR. TODD: “Let’s go.”
MR. BROKAW: But is Iraq going to be the fault line in the fall, or is it going to remain the economy, Chuck?
MR. TODD: I think it absolutely remains the economy, and I think it’s possible we will see how both candidates use their vice presidential choices to make that emphasis.
And with Iraq out of the question (why the long faces, Republicans, you “won,” whatever the hell that means, since we still have never defined victory), an issue that most certainly is not McCain’s forte moves front and center. In fact, McCain is reeling on the economic issues, what with Gramm being chucked under the bus (sorry), and McCain left with his economic trump cards as Carly Fiorina (a loose cannon), and the potential of Romney as VP (and McCain hates Romney).
Not a good week for the Republicans. Expect more “Yeah, but he only raised 52 million in June” nonsense, as it really is all they have left. From where I sit, the trip has already been a success.
And one last point, one that seems to not be mentioned enough. All of this, everything positive that is happening for Obama on this trip- the coverage, the schmoozing of the media and the glowing coverage that will follow, the framing of Obama as capable to act on a world stage, etc., all of this is a direct result of an unforced error on the part of the GOP and the McCain campaign. They were the ones who demanded he go there. They were the kids who thought it would be cute to place a countdown ticker on their websites. I bet they disappear that bad boy pretty quick.