This is no longer a battle over whether Bush will run with McCain's escalation plan and prolong the war. This is now a battle over ending the war.tpm media posted the video of "Obama Calls for Withdrawal by 2008," his speech on the Senate floor on YouTube (4:23). Lynn Sweet, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times:
The bar is higher, and Obama is the first of the top-tier presidential contenders to clear it, and he did so with room to spare.
This isn't a wussy "stop the escalation" measure, nor some half-measure like "withdraw some troops but not all" (which appears to be the Edwards position). And forget Clinton. Who the heck knows what her position is? She's too busy trying to look "responsible" to give us an unambiguous position on Iraq. Of course, it helps that Obama is the only top-tier candidate to have opposed the war from the beginning...
But Obama's move will force the rest of the candidates to take a harder line on Iraq or risk being left behind. It seems like such an obvious move, but it's an indictment of DC that Obama's obvious stance is actually a sign of "leadership". With the Joe Kleins of the city castigating Democrats who don't fall in line behind Bush's latest lame-brained gambit, taking a position shared by over 60 percent of the American people and probably the entire Democratic primary electorate is tougher than you'd think.
Barack Obama has apparently reconsidered his position against setting a "date certain" for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. (snip) Obama started moving toward setting a timetable in the weeks leading up to his announcement of his 2008 Democratic presidential exploratory campaign. (snip) Asked if the Obama legislation represented a change in position, Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor replied, "This is entirely consistent with the Nov. 20 speech." Added Robert Gibbs, another Obama spokesman, "Obama's legislation embraces the goals set out by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group in saying that the goal is to have all combat forces out of Iraq by the end of March 2008."