In Case You Wonder Why Obama’s Position On Iraq Is “Nuanced”

Josh Marshall, referring to this Quinnipac poll:

As you can see, in every one of these key battleground states, majorities favor staying in Iraq until the situation is “stable,” and then withdrawing troops, which in some ways is closer to the GOP’s current stated position, though not really identical with it. In all four, decided minorities favor starting withdrawal immediately, with the goal of completing withdrawal in 18 months.

Um, paging Ms. Samantha Power

17 thoughts on “In Case You Wonder Why Obama’s Position On Iraq Is “Nuanced””

  1. It’s commendable for Josh Marshall to notice that the public has stopped payment on the “Get out of Iraq now” check. But when he says “the question in this poll was badly phrased, which probably explains the findings”, he is whistling past the graveyard. The question is quite clearly phrased, and unless 51% of people in Wisconsin are stupid or dyslexic he’ll have to find another explanation.

  2. First, I reject the notion that three of those are battleground states since Kerry carried them and if McCain has Dems on the defensive there, the election is not where I think it is.

    The Colorado results seem to show that if McCain had as many Republican defections as Obama has Democratic defections, the race would be a statistical tie. I also note that likely Republican voters find illegal immigration to be a more important issue than the War in Iraq.

    But the main issue here is that most of the CO voters don’t believe the War in Iraq is very important (FN); those who do are Democrats. Based upon the relative intensity of the minority position in CO, I doubt that there is much value in Obama taking a moderate approach on Iraq until after the election. Ohio and Pennsylvania may be different.

    (FN) 47% select economy; 19% the war; 10% healthcare; 9% illegal immigration; 8% terrorism

  3. The economy to me looks as if it is going to get a lot worse in the next few months. If it does it is the defining issue by even greater margins than you see now. I doubt if the war will become any more of an issue than it is now unless things begin to get worse. Neither of which is good for McCain.

    A 1 or 2% rise in unemployment would effectively destroy any hope of McCain winning any of the rust belt states. I also don’t think this is out of the realm of possibility.

    As far as the gist of the article is concerned, it looks to me that McCain is being outflanked and the Obama team is trying to take away McCains hole card. If he blurs the line between him and McCain on this issue, McCain is finished. Not many people will base their vote on whether or not we stay in Iraq if their positions get closer. If it is true as some polls I read say that Obama and McCain are seen at 43% to 43% on who would best handle Iraq and their is less *perceived* difference in their positions, McCain is cooked.

    The McCain campaign and Republicans, in general have to face a very distasteful fact. They are facing a teflon candidate and an excellent politician. he is underestimated at his opponents peril. He has overthrown the reigning Democratic empire and has the former empress begging for financial help.

    We cannot win this election based upon McCain’s position in Iraq (one, by the way I do not agree with), nor can we win without a campaign based on principle that is professionally managed. Unfortunately, I see confusion, not principle, and a clumbsy, rank amateurism rather than any professionalism coming out of the McCain camp.

    This is a terrible candidate and an inept one. I still can’t believe that this guy is our nominee.

  4. #1 from Glen Wishard at 12:03 am on Jun 27, 2008

    It’s commendable for Josh Marshall to notice that the public has stopped payment on the “Get out of Iraq now” check.

    If the market has a few more days like today and unemployment and gas go up, they’ll stop payment again (in a heartbeat).

  5. If the market has a few more days like today and unemployment and gas go up, they’ll stop payment again (in a heartbeat).

    Well, you certainly have a lot of things to look forward to. Perhaps some great man will come along and save all of us miserable proles from all of that.

  6. #5 from Glen Wishard at 7:01 am on Jun 27, 2008

    I don’t understand your comment. Do you think my analysis is wrong? Is it some sort of drive by?

  7. What Glen is pointing out, is if we 2008, look like 1976; and Obama is Carter. Don’t look for things to get any better; because Obama still hasn’t learned the lessons of Carter’s mistakes.

  8. I think Glen is alluding to something like this:

    bq. _The existence of Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama proves one thing: the character of a single man can affect history. The “great man theory” of history is true: one man can change the world._

    bq. _Not that Clinton, Bush or Obama are great men, although Obama, who’s only 46, may turn out to be, if he comes anywhere near walking all his pretty talk._

    [snip pages of Obama praise and Clinton/Bush bashing]

    bq. _And come to think of it, we actually do face a life-and-death challenge that imperils our planet and would have sorely tried the likes of Gandhi, Churchill and Mandela: global warming. Hey, if Obama has the character to move the world towards a big change on that, he could be a great president. Not only of America, but of the whole planet._

    “A Sinister Cabal of Superior Writers”:http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/06/04/195208.php

  9. But the main issue here is that most of the CO voters don’t believe the War in Iraq is very important (FN); those who do are Democrats. Based upon the relative intensity of the minority position in CO, I doubt that there is much value in Obama taking a moderate approach on Iraq until after the election. Ohio and Pennsylvania may be different.

    I disagree here, I think a lot of political analysis discounts what I call the slop over effect. Even though an issue may not be important to a group it still influences their views of the candidate as a whole.

    If Obama took a more lefty stance vis Iraq, it’ll have the effect of making him look more generally leftish and that will influence how people perceive his other policy positions, which they do care about.

    By taking a more centrist position on Iraq, people who agree with the centrist view, but don’t take the issue as important, will see him as more centrist and will likely be more receptive to his position on other fronts.

    Just a few percentage points on the margin, sure, but given how close the election is likely to be, that may make all the difference.

    McCain is most vulnerable from the right, tagging Obama as a raging lefty both shifts more moderates into his camp and reduces the chances of a conservative sit out. Obama tacking center reverses that dynamic.

  10. #9 from Treefrog at 6:41 pm on Jun 27, 2008

    _I agree. The flanking move I was speaking about you described perfectly. If Iraq is removed as an issue, where does this put McCain. This guy is a better politician than Clinton who brutalized republicans for 8 years. One might also recall that we lost two speakers of the House when Clinton was being impeached._

    #7 from narciso at 3:35 pm on Jun 27, 2008

    Obama is Carter.

    _Carter won in 76 and Obama is no Carter. I find it hard to believe that Republicans are not terrified of this guy’s political skills. He is also facing an incredibly weak candidate with a very inept organization._

    #8 from PD Shaw at 3:40 pm on Jun 27, 2008

    I think we are facing a 100+ electoral margin for Obama in November and a trouncing sown ticket.

  11. Of course TOC, that’s a double edged sword, since if McCain can successfully portray Obama as a hyper-liberal lefty, the same mechanic kicks in the other direction.

    This is going to be an interesting election. I suspect we’re going to see each candidate try and tack as close to the center as they can while trying to keep just enough of their base happy to keep the dough coming in. The further center they tack the more they tick off their bases and the less money they raise. Break the other direction and they make the base happy and lose the center.

    The election will be won in the center but the cash is on the edges. It ought to make this election hilarious. Lot’s of position flip flopping, outraged pundits, and more nose holding and whining from the bases than a kindergarten tour of a tannery.

    Should be a blast.

  12. #11 from Treefrog at 1:35 am on Jun 28, 2008

    I do not think that Obama has much to lose by going to the center. His left flank will mor eeasily hold their nose and vote with him after 8 years of Dubya.

    I do not think that that McCain has that wiggle room with the Right. I would go so far as to say that movement to the center for McCain is a zero sum game. Whatever gains he makes with independents he will lose with conservatives.

    Another thing is that the campaign appears to have no direction. He will leave the country to tour Latin America as the economy grows as an issue. IMO, tactically this is a worse blunder tham Bush’s political team made when it had GWB mention that he saw the destruction after Katrina when he flew over NO.

  13. HUMOUR AND SATIRE. a personal note to mr barack obama. please please do not become a bounty hunter. show details 7:26 am (1 hour ago)

    is obama all things to everybody. black white green purple and blue. christrian evangelism at its best. the i love jesus and jesus loves me stereotype with even kikuyu and muslim herbal additions. wow. a real all american superman a woman’s man, who can turn into a spiderman. not really my type at all but perhaps the best america has to offer in the “polished” politician who is young inexperienced and very very idealistic. he appears to be learning very fast and quite a chameleon. past history of this type of personality can easily turn and seduce a man of power into a psychopathic monster. absolute power corrupts absolutely is the cliche. evangelists are well known for their corrupted POWER GAMES AND SPIRITUALITY and OF COURSE sexual escapades. president clinton is the most exciting BAPTIST example but he made a fine president. some spiders are notorious for consuming their mates after the act of procreation and NATURALLY good and evil combined can become a very toxic brew. watch out americans we dont want a repeat of the american civil war with the million massacred with gattling guns repeater rifles fife and drum. so far so good obama appears to be uncorruptible or is it incorruptible but whoever heard of such a thing in reaL LIFE.

    dr adam rosenblatt psychiatrist free lance journalist ecologist

  14. HUMOUR AND SATIRE. a personal note to mr barack obama. please please do not become a bounty hunter. show details 7:26 am (1 hour ago)

    is obama all things to everybody. black white green purple and blue. christrian evangelism at its best. the i love jesus and jesus loves me stereotype with even kikuyu and muslim herbal additions. wow. a real all american superman a woman’s man, who can turn into a spiderman. not really my type at all but perhaps the best america has to offer in the “polished” politician who is young inexperienced and very very idealistic. he appears to be learning very fast and quite a chameleon. past history of this type of personality can easily turn and seduce a man of power into a psychopathic monster. absolute power corrupts absolutely is the cliche. evangelists are well known for their corrupted POWER GAMES AND SPIRITUALITY and OF COURSE sexual escapades. president clinton is the most exciting BAPTIST example but he made a fine president. some spiders are notorious for consuming their mates after the act of procreation and NATURALLY good and evil combined can become a very toxic brew. watch out americans we dont want a repeat of the american civil war with the million massacred with gattling guns repeater rifles fife and drum. so far so good obama appears to be uncorruptible or is it incorruptible but whoever heard of such a thing in reaL LIFE.

    dr adam rosenblatt psychiatrist free lance journalist ecologist

  15. barrack obama well deserves his nobel peace prize. he is a great spiritual commandr in chief although economically he is basically like all the former us presidents including bush and cheney. with the stroke of his pen he has signed away all the anti-sexual creeds and dogmas of the holy roman catholic imperialst church and fundamntalist bible belt protestant ethics. he has probably saved many womens lives by refunding basic stem and embryonic stem cell research, abortion clinics and condom services. he will surely do much more even though he is a money in the pocket very promiscuous loves everyone man. fortunately he is no antisemite like roosevelt who has the blood of many holocaust victims on his hands. his wife apparently bitterly opposed him on his attitude towards jewish refugees. dr adam rosenblatt

  16. as a point of clarification and information for winds of change.net. . there are 9 doctor rosenblatts 3 of whom are psychiatrists and the rest physicians. i am a psychiatrist trained in new york and an australian trained physician was licensed as a psychiatrist only in new york and a victim of the corrupt new york medical establishment several years ago. i am an on line free lance journalist with hundreds of political and philosophical commentaries to my name. i have published in the moscow news and my major blogs are patterico’s pontifications, the big picture vik rubenfeld thaiindian news and the himalayan times of nepal. adam rosenblatt mb. bs. md(us)

  17. Adam, we have a ‘4 comments in a row and give it a break rule…’ – the goal here is to encourage conversation and give-and-take.

    So rather than making the thread a monologue, let’s enagge with other readers and see what kinds of dialogs develop.

    Thanks…

    Marc

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