THE BLOG

Hillary's Ploy, Obama's Challenge: Bases in Iraq after we Draw Down?

07/03/2007 08:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Since Scooter scooted out of jail Hillary has settled on a tactic she's been experimenting with for a long time. Can she make radical-sounding red-meat declamations about how awful Bush is while leaving undiscussed her Iraq plan--which clearly, on the record, does not involve leaving the place entirely. She's into that waffly draw-down language, end-the-war language.

If you don't parse it too closely, that passes as getting ALL our troops out and REALLY ending the war, as opposed to the war as we know it right now. But she never says THAT. That's not her intention. She's planning permanent bases as surely as Bush and Gates are. She's hoping that if she Bush-bashes more dramatically than rise-above-the-fray, new-politics Obama, she'll sucker in enough of the base to beat him in the early primaries.

And it could work. Obama shouldn't change his tone on the Bush-bashing front. If he wants to trump this ploy he has to say something substantive: he has to say that he will REALLY end the war, as in get all our troops out--no bases.

If he says that, if he makes a major contrast with Hillary on that, his chances of winning the primaries go WAY up.

If he has to change is mind later, so be it. Circumstances change too.

Cynical?

OK. You wanna win, or what...?