Breaking: McCain Supports Obama Iraq Plan

26Feb09

Via HuffPo:

“They’re going to present us their recommendations. It’s their plan,” he said. “From what I know about it, I agree with it.”

For McCain, the plan has virtue because it is backed by the generals and the ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker. “I like it best because it’s what Ambassador Crocker and General [Raymond] Odierno and General [David] Petraeus also felt was a suitable strategy,” said McCain.

Couple of interesting points:

1. McCain really chose his words carefully, despite the positive spin here by HuffPo. “It’s their plan” and “suitable” strategy; it’s clear that he has room to wiggle out of this one if he needs to.

2. General Petraeus is invoked – As far as I know, this is the first I’ve heard of Petraeus giving any sort of public endorsement of an Obama military policy. Expect Obama to take that and run with it…and expect Petraeus to be a little bothered by McCain leaking that info.

3. Would Petraeus have supported this plan if he were still in charge of Iraq? My guess is no. But Obama did give him 17,000 more troops for Afghanistan, which had to help this endorsement.

4. One wonders if this is part of a broader Republican strategy to try to give the appearance of some bipartisanship. Of course, it doesn’t really matter what McCain says on the issue because Obama is the commander in chief and would have gotten his way anyway. This move might give them some political capital in attacking the massive spending being proposed in the new budget.

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