Phil and others covered many of the McCain blogger conference call highlights. Several small but telling items stood out for me. First, he sees Gen. Petraeus in a "high visibility role" in September as perhaps the only chance to sway Congressional and popular opinion and thereby prevent disaster in Iraq. The assumption is that neither the President or any other civilian can carry the argument. A sad commentary. Second, whatever your opinion of him, his political isolation and desperate situation both on Iraq and in his campaign seem rather poignant. At one point he invited the bloggers to call him or "whoever" is still around with suggestions for future calls. It conjured up an image of McCain alone in a giant campaign office answering phones, stuffing envelopes, operating the Xerox machine and the like with no one around to help out. Lastly, he seemed to laugh in agreement with the ever amusing Ana Marie Cox's suggestion that other GOP presidential candidates were "signaling softness" on Iraq and he suggested he might help both the Iraq effort and his campaign by pointing that out in debates. The other contenders will no doubt take exception to this characterization and the accusation, if made directly, will make for fireworks when the crew of contenders meet next.
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