Live blogging: Sen. McCain was wrong about Iraq

Obama ticks off the things McCain is wrong about, but McCain just tugs on military heartstrings.

Published September 27, 2008 1:59AM (EDT)

Obama just managed to handle the John Kerry "voted for before I voted against" issue by explaining that he voted for funding with timetables while McCain voted for funding without timetables. That's a good start.

In 2004, basically Kerry voted for funding so long as there was a mechanism to raise those funds, rather than adding them to the debt, but voted against when merely added to the debt. Yet Bush somehow got plaudits for funding a war on a credit card. Why Bob Shrum never fed that line to Kerry is beyond me.

McCain just luvs to talk about the surge, doesn't he? Obama needs a better response to the surge-as-panacea talking point. But McCain didn't respond to the four things about Iraq Obama pointed out McCain got wrong. Instead, McCain went into "our noble and patriotic troops" and "refusing to lose" rhetoric to paper over his stupid, wrongheaded positions and statements. Liked how Obama pointed out that the war did not start in 2007.

Why doesn't Obama respond to the "central front" point McCain makes by pointing out that there weren't any Islamo-terrorists in Iraq until Bush started this dumb war? It's infuriating to think how many Americans still conflate Iraq and Afghanistan, as if Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were interchangeable.

McCain is so condescending about what Obama "doesn't understand." He really, really thinks nobody has any business being onstage with him on foreign policy. This, from the guy who got wrong the biggest foreign policy decision in American history. Listening to McCain's condescension is like suffering through sensitivity training lectures from Mel Gibson.

Oh, nice: Obama had a ready response to McCain's predictable, maudlin bracelet story. Obama's team realizes McCain has a limited set of material, a short script. McCain keeps going to his same, silly stump stories.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.