The last thing the Bush White House would want, you might think, would be to make the 2008 presidential election a referendum on the unpopular war in Iraq. The 2006 congressional elections were such a referendum, and the Republicans got hammered.
But President Bush, newly confident that his troop-surge strategy is working, is taking steps that are likely to guarantee another Iraq-driven election. He favors keeping a big U.S. force in Iraq through the November elections, probably close to the pre-surge level of 130,000 troops. That large presence will draw Democratic fire -- and it will make the presidential contest all the more a test between a pro-war Republican nominee and an antiwar Democrat.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Iraq and the general election
I had earlier thought that Iraq might be a back burner issue come election time. I had the impression the troop levels would be drawn down a lot, therefore making the "get out of Iraq" calls somewhat muted. I might have read that wrong though. From David Ignatius at The Washington Post we have Bush's Iraq Calculus.