Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Chuck Hagel: Stop Arguing About Surge

This may make McCain blow a gasket:

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, fresh from an Iraq trip with Democrat Barack Obama, said the presidential candidates should focus on the war’s future and stop arguing over the success of last year’s troop surge.

Now, you may wonder why it is phrased at both candidates, as it seems like McCain is the one who is relentlessly yammering about it. Well, it is likely that Hagel was simply being diplomatic about not attacking directly. But Time notes that the statement seems to be more aimed at McCain:

Hagel mentioned both candidates, but his comments seemed directed at Republican John McCain. McCain, while Obama traveled the Middle East, attacked Obama for opposing the military escalation last year that increased security in Iraq.

“Quit talking about, ‘Did the surge work or not work,’ or, ‘Did you vote for this or support this,'” Hagel said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.

“Get out of that. We’re done with that. How are we going to project forward?” the Nebraska senator said. “What are we going to do for the next four years to protect the interest of America and our allies and restructure a new order in the world. … That’s what America needs to hear from these two candidates. And that’s where I am.”

I wonder if Obama had a talk with Hagel about making such a statement? It certainly wouldn’t surprise me in the least. McCain has been completely unbearable this week. Has he even talked about what he proposes to do for the country, at all? Their attacks have ranged from the petty to the outlandish. I’m all for the Straight Talk Express going off the rails, but it would be nice if they toned down these types of attacks. I know, I know…

Update: MSNBC and the AP have the same intrepretation as Time did.

July 24, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy, Iraq | , , ,


  1. Chuck Hagel is proving extremely helpful. Would love to see him repeat this more frequently tomorrow.

    Comment by dansac | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  2. When he eventually endorses Obama, he is going to be one hell of a surrogate.

    Comment by smashartist | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  3. I really hope he gets out there on a regular basis. It would be a huge help, I think.

    Comment by turneresq | July 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. I think my proof that the surge couldn’t possibly have been behind the reduction in violence is complete and convincing. I, naturally, hope you all agree.

    Comment by Josh SN | July 25, 2008 | Reply

  5. Actually, I believe Hagel’s exact quote was, “The first rule of the surge is that you don’t talk about the surge.”

    Comment by gdh1 | July 25, 2008 | Reply

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