THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Playing on his Turf

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 29, 2008

As the Democratic Party primary season comes to a close Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have already begun the general election fight.  Most recently the two have followed one another throughout the Rocky Mountain West with McCain chiding Obama for his stance on the war in Iraq. 

The presumptive GOP nominee has been steadfast in his support for the military action, his reluctance to withdraw the troops without attaining “victory” and he has said he would not “surrender.”  The Democratic frontrunner has been against the war from the beginning and has talked about a phased withdrawal of troops.  With the positions so clear cut it was only a matter of time before the two started to spar and they have. 

McCain has chastised Obama for not having been to Iraq for “871” days and offered to go with him to meet with the Generals and soldiers on the ground to get a better idea of what is happening in Iraq.  Obama responded on his campaign plane that he would not go with McCain to Iraq, since that would appear to be a “political stunt,” but that his campaign was planning a trip to Iraq. 

Whether the campaign was planning a trip before this back and forth or responding to McCain’s poking about not having been to Iraq recently we think that Obama is treading on his potential opponents turf.  Obama got a leg up in the Democratic primary since he was the only one of the top candidates that didn’t support the war from the beginning and was open about his plan to bring the troops home.  The war remains unpopular and the economy, a self knowledge shortcoming in McCain political quiver, is shooting to the top of American’s list of concerns with the swiftness.  It is in that political arena in which Obama wants to play McCain.  If McCain can make this campaign about national security the Senator from Arizona will have the edge. 

McCain is right to tease Obama about his “lack of military experience” but if Obama doesn’t respond or if he speaks with the same urgency about the economy as McCain does about the war the electoral map will have lots of hints of blue come November.   

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