07/29/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Holbrooke: Iraq Shifts A "Devastating Blow" To McCain

Staffers for the McCain campaign emphasized the continued differences between Obama and the president, particularly that the White House has not agreed to a specific timeframe.

It may not sway many voters, but on Friday, as Barack Obama embarked on an extended trip abroad intended in large part to relieve concerns about his commander in chief bona fides, the terms of debate on Iraq began a dramatic shift that appears to favor his candidacy.

President Bush, who'd been opposed to any timetable for removing American forces from Iraq, reached an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to set a "general time horizon" for a withdrawal.

"It's a devastating blow to the McCain campaign -- not just that Maliki moved to Obama's position but that Bush did as well," said Richard Holbrooke, a former United States ambassador to the United Nations for the Clinton administration.

Read more on Politico