The post-Hillary bump

Now that Hillary has been officially out of the race for the better part of a week, the polls are definitely showing some movement in Obama's favor.  Pollster.com has a nice visual summary of the poll averages (and the link has tables of all the actual polls):

One should definitely not make too much of polls from this point in an election (if they were always accurate, we would have had President Dukakis).  Nonetheless, it certainly strikes me as encouraging news for Obama's November prospects.

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“Not too important” how long we stay in Iraq

I'm going to borrow from Jonathan Chait who is dead-on and succinct in explaining why first John McCain's 100 years in Iraq and now his “not too important” how long we are there comments shows that he just doesn't get it:

1. McCain's goal of turning Iraq into a
place where American soldiers can stay peacefully, like West Germany or
South Korea, is wildly unrealistic. I won't say it's impossible,
because anything is possible. But the history of the Middle East
suggests that Iraqis are never going to accept a long-term American
military presence. Indeed, even if you thought Iraqis would welcome
American troops as liberators, which was optimistic but not totally
crazy, it would take a whole different level of delusional optimism to
think that they'd also welcome scores of permanent U.S. bases in the
country. So these comments are a window into McCain's rosy scenario
that ought to be challenged.

2. McCain will never say how long he's willing to fight on in order to get to this casualty-free scenario he envisions. Yes, he wants
the Iraq occupation to become like the West German occupation, but
right now it's not, and McCain won't concede there's any limit to how
long the status quo is acceptable to him. He repeatedly turns questions
about how long the current war can go on into postulates about a
hypothetical future peaceful occupation. It's not the same thing as
saying he's willing to keep taking casualties for 100 years, but it is
the answer he gives to that question, and as such it's highly
suggestive.

I'd love to see Obama really take it to him on this issue– the fact that it seems to display a fundamental understanding of the Middle East– rather than the more simplistic idea of a too-long military engagement.  Smart as Obama is, I think he will. 



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