Promoting the surge-rific leadership of John McCain, senior McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes that “Iraq is a character issue“:
“Senator McCain’s prescription to correct a failed policy was right. Senator Obama’s was wrong,” Schmidt continues. “They’re not deliberating abstractions. This was a real event that shows whose judgment was right and whose judgment was wrong.”[…]
“To some extent, the debate about Iraq is not a debate about Iraq. It’s about leadership, wisdom, and judgment.”
McCain’s campaign website has a fancy timeline— if only his campaign strategy were as well designed! — showing how and when John McCain was right about Iraq. Interestingly, the timeline begins in August 2003.
So while McCain is certainly not modest about trying to claim credit for the 2007 troop surge — which his site graciously refers to as “The McCain Surge” — he is somewhat more modest about providing examples of his leadership, wisdom, and judgment about Iraq from before August 2003. In the interest of ameliorating this, I’ve compiled a small sample of McCain’s pre-8/03 wisdom:
“Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]
“We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.” [CNN, 9/29/02]
“But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]
“But I believe, Katie, that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators.” [NBC, 3/20/03]
“It’s clear that the end is very much in sight.” [ABC, 4/9/03]
“There’s not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shiahs. So I think they can probably get along.” [MSNBC, 4/23/03]
McCain’s webmaster should feel free to take these and add them to McCain’s Iraq timeline. And contact Think Progress for more!