The Obama campaign quickly put together another press conference after the negative reaction to the idea that Obama might refine his Iraq policy made the rounds. “Let me be as clear as I can be. I intend to end this war. My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately but decisively,” Obama said.
He continued, “This is the same position I that had four months ago. It’s the same position that I had eight months ago. It’s the same position that I had 12 months ago.” I guess that means that his earlier comment about taking into account the stability of Iraq before withdrawing troops is out.
Here is what I think happened. The Obama campaign intentionally floated that little remark about stability in Iraq, just before a holiday weekend to see if they could lay the groundwork for modifying his position. People noticed the implication of a potential shift in policy, so they had to get Obama back out in front of the cameras in a hurry to get back to their original message.
Everybody knows that this campaign is shifting some of Obama’s positions away from the liberal rhetoric of the primary. They are doing this because they are trying to avoid the elitist liberal tag that doomed Al Gore and John Kerry, but they need to understand the importance of his position on Iraq to many supporters. This is one issue that they can’t tinker with, or there will be fallout. If the campaign wanted to see how far to the right their supporters will allow Obama to move, I think they found out today.
Watch the video here.