Tuesday, July 22, 2008

President Obama already? No vote first?

July 22, 2008

The way Barack Obama is acting, and the way the news media are reacting, it seems like the candidate and his adoring press corps have concluded the election of the Illinois senator as the 44th president of the United States is a foregone conclusion.

Take his trip to Iraq. It was billed as a congressional visit (a couple of other senators tagged along) but, as the Washington Post observed, "in many ways, from the red carpet rolled out for the group at [President Nouri al-Maliki's] residence, to his seat of honor next to Maliki during a brief photo-opportunity -- he is being treated like a visiting head of state."

One can hardly call it a fact-finding trip because Obama declared before leaving U.S. soil his timetable for a 16-month troop withdrawal was all but written in stone. Al-Maliki seemed to get the message, as he was quoted in a German magazine sounding like he endorsed that timetable. The Iraqi government, however, aware of the realities of a precipitous pullout and perhaps prodded by the Bush administration, quickly sought to distance the Iraqi political leader from his own comments. the rest image


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