He is pumped up, calling in from his No Surrender Tour in Iowa. He takes a big whack at Hillary using her own words and saying that it “must take the willing suspension of disbelief to not repudiate an advertisement run by a radical left wing organization” that impugns Petraeus. His zinger: “If you’re not tough enough to repudiate an attack like that, you’re not tough enough to be president.”
A few highlights: Without directly taking on his opponents in the primary he urged them to be “more engaged” on the debate on Iraq. He thought Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker “helps” the debate and so do facts on the ground. By January 2009 he thinks we’ll either have shown enough on the ground to garner support from the American people or we’ll be forced out. Not killing or capturing Al-Sadr was a big mistake and he urged the administration to take him out early on. Democrats should return MoveOn.org donations and “denounce it, denounce it, denounce it.” Doing better in the polls and have his mojo back? Yeah it does. There were serious problems but they were budgetary. Attendance at townhalls good in Iowa and REALLY good in New Hampshire and South Carolina. My take away: He is in a positively sunny mood and thinks events are now on his side. Although he says the No Surrneder tour is “more important” than the campaign it frankly is his campaign and is going to early primary states of Iowa, NH, and SC–the states he’s identified as must wins. He has the benefit of timing in that this debate will be a lot fresher in voters minds than the immigration debate when they start going to the polls in a few months. Don’t count this man out.