Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama's Home Run

Before returning from his whirlwind tour of Western Asia, Middle East, and sold-out crowds in Europe Obama went on Meet the Press in London with Tom Brokaw. Although watching Brokaw was awkward, Obama was completely natural basking in his Rock Star status. Drawing a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin drew echoes of Kennedy and (possibly more importantly) Reagan.

The talk before this trip was about a potential gaffe. About the man-with-the-funny-sounding-name going to the land-of-funny-sounding-names.

This entire trip couldn't have gone better for Obama. Not unless Barack hit two three pointers against the Shiites and was carried off the court by the new ruling coalition of Iraq. Luckily for McCain it was just one three pointer, and it wasn't even a game of HORSE.

In all seriousness, Obama has benefited from the recent success in Iraq. Brokaw started to scratch the surface of this on MTP. The surge that Obama was against and that John McCain was for, was the stabilizing force that allowed the "Sunni Awakening" to survive. The irony of this was pointed out in an LA Times article.

McCain never should have said anything about Obama not visiting the Middle East. He should have went himself. He should have been the one touting the success of the surge from Iraq and then laying out the schedule to withdraw with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki.

McCain has allowed Obama to draw level on foreign policy. Obama has an international status that is unmatched by all except true celebrities. Could McCain draw a crowd of 200,000 anywhere? Hard to say, not likely. And Obama has turned a weakness into a strength.

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