IRAQ QUESTION NOT SO GREAT FOR OBAMA.

On Iraq, it seemed that McCain got the better of Obama because the Democratic nominee failed to present some of his best arguments about the future of Iraq, instead choosing to focus on his correct judgement call at the start of the war. Some facts worth mentioning: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports Obama's withdrawal plan; McCain does not have an exit strategy or even a vision of what an end-state in Iraq looks like; the Surge has not succeeded inasmuch as there has been no real political reconciliation in the country -- the electoral law that McCain briefly mentioned passed only because the Iraqis set aside some of the most contentious issues in the law, including the role of the Kurds.

--Tim Fernholz

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