Monday, June 28, 2010

Update on the purported political brilliance of the Petraeus pick

Here's a couple of U.S. Senators speaking yesterday about the selection:

Meanwhile, with Petraeus' confirmation hearing set to be held this week, [Sen. Lindsey] Graham said he wants the administration to clarify how hard-and-fast the withdrawal deadline is.

[Sen. Dianne] Feinstein said that if Petraeus asks for more time, "I would say give it to him."

That's one prominent senator from either side of the aisle suggesting that the timeline should be flexible, an opinion that in Feinstein's case, at least, seems to be predicated almost entirely on the fact that Petraeus is running the show now.

So if the president decides he wants to "finesse the 2011 deadline," he's got Petraeus' cred on the Hill to work with. If he decides he doesn't, then he's got Petraeus (and Gates, and Mullen) on the record in Johnathan Alter's book saying that he's not going to come back later and ask for more troops, that he's not going to try to flex the deadline, that he thinks significant progress can be made in 18 (now 12) months.

Politics is about options, and now the president's got all he wants.

3 comments:

  1. feinstein has always supported the war and torture, even under dubya. shes not exactly on the "other side" of the aisle on this particular issue.

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  2. feinstein has always supported the war and torture, even under dubya. shes not exactly on the "other side" of the aisle on this particular issue.

    You're right about that, but there was a time where she was saying that we needed a "clear, time-limited mission" in Afghanistan. This was in SEP of last year:

    "I believe the mission should be time limited, that there should be no, well, we'll let you know in a year and a half, depending on how we do," Feinstein said. "I think the Congress is entitled to know, after Iraq, exactly how long are we going to be in Afghanistan.

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  3. Politics is about options, and now the president's got all he wants.

    There's not enough "word" in the world. I think it's positively a miracle that naught but one or two people have anything bad to say about P4's nomination/confirmation. That's remarkable.

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