Re: Today’s McCain-Obama Tiff

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Following up on Joe’s post.
In a brief interview with the New York Times yesterday Obama said he’s considering a trip to Iraq when he secures the nomination. This seemed to bow to GOP pressure after the RNC started a clock on its website counting the days Obama hasn’t been to Iraq (872) and McCain lambasted Obama for not accepting his offer of a joint trip. Obama’s willingness, then, Wednesday to travel to Iraq seemed like a capitulation.

But what puzzles me is Obama’s campaign has long planned a victory lap abroad to underline his foreign policy credentials and Iraq has always been on the table for such a trip. See this Washington Post story from March 8 where “advisers” bemoan having to postpone the foreign trip because Obama lost Texas and Ohio. McCain took a similar victory lap when he won the GOP nomination. So which demographic is McCain trying to appeal to here? The Republicans who still support the war? The Independents who are worried about Obama’s foreign policy credentials? Is the war in Iraq really a great topic for McCain to highlight like this?