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June 04, 2008

Callin' Shit By Different Names: Obama Vows His Plan for Withdrawal From Iraq is Actually a "Plan for Victory"
Missed the Headline? Supports Contiguous Palestinian State

Victory over whom? The Bush Administration?

More evolution -- well, this one of a purely rhetorical sort -- at the AIPAC conference.

Barack Obama picked up fresh support Wednesday from fellow Democrats eager for party unity after a bruising battle for the presidential nomination, at the same time he accused Republican rival John McCain of supporting a "plan for staying, not a plan for victory" in Iraq.

"I think he has exercised very bad judgment on national security issues and others," said McCain, one day after welcoming Obama to the general election campaign with sharp criticism.

The victor in an enervating primary campaign, Obama courted Jewish voters in a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. "Keeping all of our troops tied down indefinitely in Iraq is not the way to weaken Iran, it is precisely what strengthened it," the Illinois senator said in a speech in which he said the security of the Jewish state was sacrosanct.


In his speech at AIPAC, Obama urged his audience to reject what he said were false e-mails circulating about him, stressed his support for Israel and depicted the war in Iraq as a threat to Israel's security.

"Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is nonnegotiable," he said. He backed a Palestinian state that is "contiguous and cohesive," but also said any agreement must "preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided," he said.

Obama said Bush's decision to invade Iraq had enabled the hard-liners in Iran to tighten their grip on power. "And the United States and Israel are less secure," he added.

He said McCain "offers a false choice: stay the course in Iraq or cede the region to Iran. ... It is a policy for staying, not a policy for victory," adding he favors a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

And turning tail and ceding Iraq to become Iran's puppet will sure teach them a lesson, I guess.

And: Laura Ingraham grades the speeches. I agree.

Hugh Hewitt gamely attempts to put the focus on substance (and by that criterion declares McCain the winner), but come on. McCain was dreadful last night, Obama was commanding and energetic.

Anyone who thinks that fire and charisma don't count in elections -- indeed, anyone who doubts they count more than anything else -- is fooling themselves.

All of the Republicans have this cycle, with the exception of the cranky Fred Thompson, fallen over themselves to appear nice and quiet and nonthreatening and calm and so forth. Rudy did it, Mitt made himself even blander and nicer, and now McCain wants to seem like your wood-whittling grand-dad.

Look, if this election is as serious as everyone says it is, then seriousness is called for. And sometimes the only way people understand seriousness is with an elevated tone of voice and a bit of bite and anger. Obama seems proud to sell his product, McCain, like all the rivals he barely beat, seems apologetic about selling whatever it is he's selling. McCainism, whatever that is.

First maybe he has to figure out what he is selling in the first place, apart from his military bio.

More: Circa (insert year here) notes--

He backed a Palestinian state that is "contiguous and cohesive"...

Can anyone tell me how to accomplish this without cutting off a substantial piece of Israel?

Anyone know what he's talking about? Is it just some kind of cross-Israel highway the Palestinians will have jurisdiction over, or what?

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