The Plank

Whither Mccain?

By and

Today's NYTimes front-pager on the Bush administration's growing acquiescence to reality in Iraq has an interesting tidbit after the jump. As much as LugarDomeniciVoinovich have forced the White House's hand on the issue of withdrawal "post-surge redeployment," it's McCain that the Bushies are most nervous about:

"Everyone's particularly worried about what happens when McCain gets back from Iraq," one official said, a reference to the latest trip to Baghdad by Senator John McCain, who has been a stalwart supporter of the "surge" strategy. Mr. McCain's travels, and his political troubles in the race for the Republican nomination for president, have fueled speculation that he may declare the Iraqi government incapable of the kind of political accommodations that the crackdown on violence was supposed to permit.

If you're into reading tealeaves, McCain's traveling partner, Lindsay Graham, seems to have come back from their Iraq trip happy with the American military but unhappy with the Iraqi government. The question is, unhappy enough to call for an American withdrawal?

--Jason Zengerle

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