I would like to begin by reminding everyone how blatantly Barry Obama switched his position on public financing – opting not to pursue it for his general election campaign after stating multiple documented times earlier in the primary season that he would, if he became the nominee, pursue such financing.
Understandably, times changed, and even Barack Obama – that shining beacon of optimism – could not have dreamed that he would ultimately become the nominee. To his credit, it was always a longshot.
However, he is here now, and it speaks poorly to his character that he waffled on the issue.
Shortly after, he announced his support for legislation that would give retroactive immunity to phone companies that aided the government in domestic spying. The Politico published a story that conveyed the ire that he drew from the netroots for that position.
And now Obama continues his shift away from that ultra-left, ultra-loyal party base that put him where he is today by stating that which some analysts have seen coming for quite sometime (although I assume even they thought it was fairly unlikely).
Yes, I am referring to Iraq. The Obama campaign has indicated that he might “refine” his Iraq plan following his trip to Baghdad later this month.
The campaign website still states the same old pipe dream: redeployment within 16 months.
Yet Obama began to back off that bold assertion recently:
“When I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies,” he said, according to CBS News. “I have been consistent, throughout this process, that I believe the war in Iraq was a mistake.”
Of course there IS a difference between never supporting the war and ending it immediately. One need not have to have supported the war to still find it imprudent to initiate a precipitous withdrawal on the grounds of security concerns.
Politico also reports that David Axelrod backed down under questioning from guest host John Roberts on CNN’s The Situation Room recently:
“I think he will take the advice, not just the advice of the commanders on the ground but his general assessment of conditions on the ground in calibrating that withdrawal. He said he thought we could get one to two brigades out a month. But he’s not wedded to that in the face of events. No president would be. And he’s always said that he’s never said that this withdrawal would be without any possibility of alteration based on events on the ground. That would not be a prudent thing to do for any president.”
Obama is finally starting to sound more like a real candidate with realistic policies. Unfortunately, such a shift in his rhetoric is not well-received by his base and all the more damning for the campaign due to the illusion of his soaring idealism.
The RNC is preparing to pounce him for his recent rhetorical revisions and I imagine that Republicans and PUMAS pointing out hints of pragmatism will continue to pose a challenge to the Obama campaign.
TheHill.com has picked up the story as well and is running Obama’s remarks under the headline: “Obama says slower Iraq withdrawal possible“