Tim Fernholz is a former staff writer for the Prospect. His work has been published by Newsweek, The New Republic, The Nation, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He is also a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation.
During the most awkwardly conceived exercise of Washington Postself-promotion in recent memory, ace national security reporter Dana Priest responded to a question on Iraq's importance in the 2008 elections:
A really excellent reported piece in the Times today taps into a broad swathe of Iraqi public opinion on withdrawal. Most seem to support it with some reservations about the timing and a few worry that the Iraqi Army will be unable to provide security without the backing of American troops. But presumably the first troop withdrawals won't begin for another six months -- a Friedman unit! -- giving the Iraqi troops more time to solidify their training and clear areas of insurgents.
Obama’s nearly-record-breaking June fundraising haul -- $52 million! -- ought to change the medianarrative for the next few days. The campaign claims an average donation of $68. Assuming those numbers hold up when we get the full FEC reports, they support Obama's justification of his decision to back out of public financing -- that he won’t be beholden to wealthy interests if most of his money is coming in small chunks from regular folks.
Yet another puzzling factor in the Iraq debate are the conservative types and media figures (see the third graf) who think it is so crazy for Obama to talk about Iraq policy before he visits the country. Is his arrival in Baghdad going to lead to some great epiphany?