The Concord Monitor has an article on something that Jim noted yesterday — Mitt Romney’s track record of choosing his language carefully to keep his options open so he can reposition himself down the road, something that he has been doing in seeking the Republican nomination with his parsing on Iraq. What makes things interesting is that Hillary Clinton is also keeping her options open, and as Patrick Ruffini has remarked, she won’t end the war in Iraq. On Sunday, Clinton would not commit to withdrawing all troops by the end of her first term. “I don’t know what I’m going to inherit,” she said on ABC. “I don’t know and neither do any of us know what will be the situation in the region.” Should Romney get the Republican nomination and face off against Hillary, we could end up with a presidential campaign in which, for all practical purposes, the Republican and Democratic candidates support the same basic policy in Iraq. Romney may say that we can bring troops home because the surge was such a success, and Hillary will say we have to end the war because it is a failure. There will be a lot of bluster on both sides to create the impression of a stark difference in policy–Romney will assail Defeatocrats and MoveOn, while Hillary will attack the disasterous Bush-Republican foreign policy. But after all the shouting, it’s quite likely that both candidates would be arguing for some form of “responsible withdrawal.”
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