Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hit by a truck

In what must a painful blow to the Clinton campaign, the Teamsters' Union has endorsed Barack Obama for president. Not only will this lend Obama the Teamsters considerable organizational muscle to the Ohio (60,000 members) and Pennsylvania (80,000 members) primaries, it sends a clear signal that the Teamsters' leadership believes that nomination contest has been decided. Certainly, the endorsement adds extra sheen to Obama's luster of invincibility.

Looking back, the Clinton decision to go negative in South Carolina was nearly as big a blunder as Mitt Romney spending $42 million of his own money to run for president (that's $167,000 per delegate, in case you're wondering). It pushed wavering African-American voters into the Obama column and turned off thousands of other voters who were undecided or leaning to Clinton. Arguably, she has not recovered from the ferocious blowback.

President Bush and John McCain assure us that the surge is working, but a lot of people disagree, plenty of them in the military:

"From the Washington beltway, Iraq looks more ‘stable’ because American generals are using cash to temporarily manipulate local tribal interests, but when the Sunni Arab tribes coalesce to fight for control of Iraq, the fa├žade of progress will collapse and the violence will be worse than before."
-Col. Douglas MacGregor (ret.), Jan. 8, 2008

"The surge has sucked all of the flexibility out of the system... And we need to find a way of getting back into balance."
-Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Jan. 17, 2008

"With the recent lowering of violence in Iraq, we assume that counterinsurgency doctrine applied by competent military outfits has reduced and almost removed the enemy from the equation in Baghdad. It is very possible, however, that the enemy has removed himself temporarily and is waiting for the opportunity to renew the fight when he feels ready."
-Col. Gian P. Gentile, Jan. 2008

There's more here.

Yale research scholar Immanuel Wallerstein argues that the best thing America can do for itself and for Iraq is to "walk away"... Joel Connelly points out that the MSM cozies up to McCain, and argues that they have a responsibility to regard him more objectively. Any bets as to whether this will happen?

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