I saw a headline this morning which stated, "Obama may moderate Iraq Stance after visit" (or other words to that effect).
I get it.
One of the very first lessons I remember from Poli Sci 101 was that you always run hard left or hard right in a primary because you're after only a) your party, and, really b) the subset within your party that actually cares enough to vote in a primary.
Once you're in the general election, you then just have to be one shade towards the center on the major issues, and bam, you should be successful.
Well, this model works really well in an abstract, theoretical world of statistics, but in the real world -- on real issues -- there's not often a clear stake in the ground you can hold that puts you that little bit towards the center.
On Iraq, however, there is, and now it's up to Senator Obama to take it.
All he has to do is say that we should have some type of phased drawdown and then stand by for flex options on an "as-needed" basis (i.e. his advisors will assess based on the reality on the ground). He should capture everyone on the left anyway, but the real key is grabbing the moderates.
I'm not a single-issue voter, but it's close. I'm looking at 16+ more years in uniform, so the last thing I want is a President who's going to pull the plug on something based on politics or current rhetoric that will lead to an abandoning of allies (hmmm...where have we seen that before) or, worse, bloodshed far beyond anything we've seen to date in Iraq. As a would-be nation-builder, I'd obviously rather walk into a stronger, more stable Iraq or Afghanistan in 2010-11 than the reverse.
Some will call him a flip-flopper.
One man's flip-flopper is just another man's "enlightened mind-changer."