POLITICS
06/16/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Iraq, Not Economy, Defines Presidential Debate

With the country confronting a rising jobless rate, soaring gas prices and a shaky stock market, voters say their biggest concern is the economy. But it is the debate over Iraq that could define the contest between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.

While pocketbook issues worry many Americans and will be a recurring theme in the campaign, the sharp differences between the two candidates on the war provides the kind of contrast that each would like to emphasize in making his case to be president. The Democratic senator from Illinois is casting a McCain presidency as the third term of George W. Bush; the Republican senator from Arizona argues that Obama does not have the experience or the judgment to be commander in chief.

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