The McCain campaign has just come out with their response to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki's endorsement of Obama's withdrawal plan. I think the clotted, dodging-the-issue nature of the response communicates very clearly the box this has placed the McCain camp in.Today, McCain 2008 Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Randy Scheunemann issued the following statement:
"The difference between John McCain and Barack Obama is that Barack Obama advocates an unconditional withdrawal that ignores the facts on the ground and the advice of our top military commanders. John McCain believes withdrawal must be based on conditions on the ground. Prime Minister Maliki has repeatedly affirmed the same view, and did so again today. Timing is not as important as whether we leave with victory and honor, which is of no apparent concern to Barack Obama. The fundamental truth remains that Senator McCain was right about the surge and Senator Obama was wrong. We would not be in the position to discuss a responsible withdrawal today if Senator Obama's views had prevailed."
The McCain campaign has wrapped itself around The Surge® because it's the only tenuous piece of moderate success that they can point to. It's their "a noun, a verb, 9/11!" refrain, isn't it?
Every time the McCain campaign talks about foreign policy, The Surge® appears like we're seeing Rudy try to stumble back into being relevant. No wonder the press sees every setback for the McCain campaign as "good news for John McCain." Out of respect for the fact that they're probably going to register it as their campaign trademark, I'll try to remember to add the "®" symbol.
McCain is simply Rudy all over again, flailing and sinking like a stone. "a noun, a verb, and The Surge®."
Oddly enough, no one thought of this moment--The Surge® is over. I know--bummer! What's next for the McCain campaign? Their only bright spot is over and they've got...what, exactly? That's right! A surge for Afghanistan! That way the tired old refrain can keep getting played: a noun, a verb, and The Surge®!
Seriously, he'll be shaking up his campaign again soon. This is some spectacularly bad advice. Rudy "the inevitable President" Guiliani can attest to that.