First Thoughts On '08

[by David S. Bernstein]

Tonight's national vote seems to be, first and foremost, a massive denounciation of the current Iraq War policy. That would seem to put 2008 national Republican candidates -- like, oh, I don't know, Mitt Romney -- in a difficult spot.

So, I asked Romney's mouthpiece Eric Fehrnstrom whether, given tonight's vote, Republicans and Romney in particular will need to reposition themselves on Iraq, perhaps even in opposition to the President. The answer, in short: no.

"People want to win," he said. "They may not like the price that's being paid, but they want to win the war on terror.... The Governor supports the war on terror. In hindsight, there are some things that he would do differently."

What of the notion, held by more and more Americans, that the Iraq War was irrelevant to, and even detracted from, the war on terror? "Iraq is just one front of the war," Fehrnstrom said. "Regardless of the steps that led us into war, if we pull out now, we will hand the jihadists an enormous victory that will embolden them."

There you have it, the first post-'06 election (well, it was only 7:55pm, so not quite post-) Presidential positioning on Iraq, and Romney is lining up right beside President Bush. Smart strategy? Time will tell.

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