2011 Withdrawal’s Effects on 2008 Pres. Election

The big news tonight is that Sen. Barack Obama has chosen Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.

But another news item of immense import surfaced today as well: the agreement by the Iraqi and American governments on a deadline for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops by 2011.

Now, aside from the groundbreaking nature of this agreement, I would like to suggest a possible impact on the presidential election.

Given that a large part of the campaign (aside from the economy) is centered around foreign policy (especially Iraq, Afghanistan and, more recently, Georgia), does this agreement not, in some respects, take the issue of when to bring the troops home off the table?

And, if so, does that not hurt Obama more than McCain? As it is, Obama has been able to hammer McCain on his judgment in sending troops to Iraq (while Obama opposed it in the first place) and his (out of context) comment about remaining in Iraq for a hundred years. By losing this as an issue, Obama loses one of his most effective talking points and the motivation for some of his supporters to work so diligently for the campaign.

Hopefully, I am overestimating the impact this agreement will have on the campaign, but it should be interesting to watch unfold.

For the conspiracy theorists out there: Does this also not smack of a President Bush playing politics with the war?

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