There’s an interesting nugget buried in the Washington Post account of the contentious meeting yesterday between President Bush and moderate congressional Republicans:
The House members pressed Bush and Gates hard for a “Plan B” if the current troop increase fails to quell the violence and push along political reconciliation. Davis said that administration officials convinced him there are contingency plans, but that the president declined to offer details, saying that if he announced his backup plan, the world would shift its focus to that contingency, leaving the current strategy no time to succeed.
I don’t recall seeing any such acknowledgment of a “Plan B” before, but now that they have made it clear that there is one, I expect Republicans and Democrats alike are soon going to demand to know: What is it?
UPDATE: The President says he would be willing to accept benchmarks. But there may be less there than meets the eye, as he still hasn’t said he would allow benchmarks that are tied to actual consequences:
He has insisted, however, that any benchmarks would not be linked to the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq or cutbacks in aid to the Baghdad government.
UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: So many commenters offered their own candidates for “Underplayed News of the Day,” maybe we should make it a regular feature here in the Swamp. Good idea?