Recall that I said:
1. McCain has staked out the hawkish position.
2. He knows that whatever Bush attempts will fail.
3. To avoid being tarred with Bush's failure, and preserve his "we would have won if we did what I advocated" argument in 2008, he must keep moving rightward and away from whatever Bush's plan is.
4. Ergo McCain's plan will always be whatever Bush advocates plus at least 10,000 troops.
From Greg Sargent at TPM today:
Incredibly, it appears that John McCain is already laying the groundwork to subtly distance himself from President Bush's escalation plan, should it fail.Am I punditing yet?
Here's how: Though full-throatedly backing Bush's plan, McCain is also starting to put out the word that he'd prefer that Bush were sending more troops to Iraq than the President has announced he'll send. This means, of course, that if escalation fails McCain may be able to dilute its impact on his political fortunes by saying success might have been possible if escalation had been carried out completely to his liking.