On his grand tour of the Middle East, George Bush was far away from the ground wars of the U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, thanks to the success of the U.S. military surge, the war he started in Iraq is now a second-tier issue in American politics. But Iraq may become a resurgent factor in the strategies of those who want to succeed him in office. The "good news" of the surge and tentative steps forward in Iraqi internal politics may weigh on how voters view the politicians maneuvering to become the next President of the United States.
On Saturday, the current President stopped at the 3rd Army's Camp Arifjan in Kuwait to get a briefing on the war from Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, and to do some morale-boosting with the troops. He made the most the timing: his visit came just over a year since he announced the troop surge, and he reminded his audience that last year's strategy shift was initially scorned in the U.S. but has turned out to be remarkably effective. At the dusty rally with troops, flanked by an enormous American flag, Bush projected that success out into the future, saying history will ju