July 28th, 2008
09:04 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Campaign realities

Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

Good morning 360ers!

Are the presidential candidates gradually, reluctantly beginning to agree on whether and when to pull out of Iraq... Is it just trying to gain political edge while acknowledging realities.. or could it be both?

Each candidate claims the other is moving his Iraq policy towards their own. The Obama camp points to McCain's "pretty good timetable" comment to Wolf Blitzer. The McCain camp points to Obama's "entirely conditions-based" statement to Newsweek.

The realities..and there are many…include Iraqi President al Maliki’s statements that a time frame that just happens to resemble Obama’s 16 months is about right.. oh, and the majority of U.S. voters wanting to get out of Iraq.. combined with the U.S. concern that the Iraqi military might not be up to holding the country together and keeping it independent from Iran.

Oh, and the U.S. hates the idea of walking away without winning a war, and wasting the precious lives of troops who fought it.

Today’s heartbreaking news underscores that concern about Iraq’s ability to hold it together: Three female suicide bombers killed at least 30 people and wounded 83 others in central Baghdad. It was the second straight day that attackers have targeted Shiite pilgrims in an annual march to one of the holiest shrines of Shia Islam.

Why? What does anyone gain from carnage like that?

Oh, and an attack on an oil facility in Kirkuk killed 11. Where there’s oil, there’s money.. and power. (Democracy isn’t necessarily part of that little equation.)

Any case, Iraq is a pretty big banana peel for both candidates – and the next president.

Another little banana peel – Iran’s president promises NBC’s Brian Williams a “positive response” if the U.S. changes its hardline policies on that nice little nation sitting comfortably between Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Is this yet another among the endless head fakes from Iran? Is it the good cop routine that predictably accompanies the bad cop claim over the weekend that Iran has nearly 6,000 centrifuges, nearly twice as many as previously claimed?

In high school soccer, I learned pretty quickly that against those players who endlessly fake left and right, and left and right again, you just have to ignore their fakes and take the ball. Right?

Tonight, Candy Crowley traces the shifting campaign messages.

Dana Bash talks with McCain adviser on women, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, on the Republican’s struggle to attract women voters.

Gary Tuchman on one church member sacrificing himself for others, when a man pulled a shotgun out of a guitar case in Knoxville Tennessee and shot several church members during a performance of “Annie.” Authorities are investigating – was it a hate crime?

Drew Griffin on the TSA’s continuing effort to change the subject, as it puts out “mythbuster” statements for the public about no fly lists and watch lists and investigates who among its staff might have told Drew that there are marshals are fewer than 1% of flights.

We’ll have that and more on 360 tonight. What do you think?

Thank you for joining us.

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • The Buzz
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. lampe

    Obama,is the only one shifting. The reason being is he is the only one who had o plans of his own. His plan is Change, and yes he has done alot of that . First he stole some of HRC plans, now he steals some of McCains, so they look like their his. Plus he flip-flops. First on private campaign funding, then on FISA, then maybe IRAN is just a little threat,or wait a minute maybe it's a big one. How can you trust a man with no plan of his own.

    July 28, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Tina TX

    Just heard the McCain camp talking about how Obama can't seem to rise up to 50% in the polls even with his good foreign trip. Ironic because they should be more concerned about why McCain hasn't been able to top over 50% in the polls as he is supposed to be the MORE WELL KNOWN, EXPERIENCED CANDIDATE?? If he is such a great candidate, why are his numbers so low – doesn't appear to be an issue I would pursue if I were them.

    July 28, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  3. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    The shifts in policy by the Bush Administration are election year strategies. If the GOP shifts closer to Obama they feel they can gain voters to come to the "dark side". McCain is completely out of the equation. He may as well be a potato. McCain is so bland he doesn't matter. What matters to the GOP is dulling down the tremendous support of Obama by agreeing with him..........and so nullifying him somehow. Then, they believe voters can decide between two candidates who essentially agree on Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan..............except, they forgot to tell McCain what he should believe in yet.............Hmmmm

    July 28, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  4. Mike P

    I honestly don't trust how McCain is starting to agree with Obama. I see it more as a political move, says it now to help him with votes. If he's to win, there will be yet another reason to stay in Iraq and fight.
    This man is a war man, he's not going to change so quickly. Out of curiosity and no disrespect to him, what war/wars did he win when he said he knows how to win wars?
    Iraq was as much of a war as beating a guy in a wheelchair. So what are we really fighting for. Bring our men & women back and forget about that country.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  5. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    " Vietnam.... Vietnamization..... Peace With Honor,,,,, Bueller Bueller ..Anyone.."!!

    July 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Tina TX

    Wendy Ontario you're so-o right!! I think it's arrogance on the part of American leaders (McCain too) to consider staying in Iraq when their soverign leader practically demands their withdrawal. They've let the world know we are not wanted, so whether they can handle the situation or not after our withdrawal should not be our main concern. Why continually treat them as children who don't know what's good for them.? And why all the focus on Obama admitting he erred regarding the surge? There would have been no need for a surge, if we had not been there to begin with – why no emphasis on questions for McCain as to why he doesn't admit he erred in voting for the war when we now know the invasion was based on false premises?? Who has the better judgment???

    July 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  7. adam

    I think that McCain is definitely moving towards Obamas ideals on the war, if you can remember, it was the McCain camp that said an timetable for withdrawl would be a terrible mistake, now hes saying its a good idea.....hmmmmm. I dont think there is anyone that can tell the american people what a realistic REAL win in Iraq looks like.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  8. Marlon

    I think McCain is kind of moving towards Obama's timeline. He initially want us to stay in Iraq for any unspecified amount of time. Until "we win" as he says. But he has never defined what winning means. Does it mean when we have seized all the oil and other natural resources from that country? I think for people to continue to call the war a "war on terrorism" is perpetuating a lie that lead us into the war in the first place. This was nothing but good old fashion colonialism. And McCain insists that the surge is working but I'm hearing about new fatalities everyday. So what is the definition of winning in Iraq?

    July 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  9. TK

    "The McCain camp points to Obama’s “entirely conditions-based” statement to Newsweek."

    If I understood correctly, Obama's "conditions-based" was to apply to the RESIDUAL FORCE, not the main body of the pull-out.; and, that the main pull-out would be concluded in sixteen months, but as carefully done "as we were careless going in." Obama has been recklessly misquoted on a host of issues, and I would like to see 360 (and the rest of the MSM) begin to care a little, when they put out lines directly from the McCain campaign. Obama has not moved from his positions, contrary to what many in the Media would want believed.

    July 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  10. Wendy Ontario, Canada

    I think today's violence in Iraq once again shows that no matter how many troops are there, the violence will continue. There is a civil war there which has gone on for years & likely will continue. I don't belive it's the job of other countries to police them. Obama is right, time to get out, troops are needed where the real threat is, Afghanistan. I don't know of any reason to put U.S troops in danger & risk their lives when there is no answer other then occupying Iraq forever. The American taxpayers shouldn't be paying to police Iraq.

    July 28, 2008 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    As rapidly as things seem to change in the Middle East I doubt that anyone knows what we should or shouldn't do this time next year – the candidates can say what they want to do but in the end they'll try to do the best they can under the conditions at the time their decision is being made.

    So Gary is in my hometown of Knoxville. Its really a nice place – near the Smoky Mountain National Park and its beautiful countryside I can remember that Unitarian church from at least my high school years and I don't recall the church having had any problems. When I heard about the shooting I just thought it was probably someone that was mentally ill. I'm sure Gary will get the scoop for us – I still can't believe that something like this happened in Knoxville...

    The more the TSA tries to rebut Drew's story the guiltier they look. My money is on Drew – if the TSA would put as much effort into getting more air marshals and doing their jobs then we'd all be better off and safer as well.

    Looking forward to the program tonight.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 28, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  12. deborah, OH

    Good morning, Barclay-thanks for posting!
    I think the candidates will say whatever they think will get them elected-most of the time. Then the president-elect gets to the 'reality' of Washington, & God knows what will happen. Just so the troop movement is OUT of Iraq...

    The church shooting is horrendous. The man who gave his life for the rest of the congregation was very courageous,,,prayers & thoughts are with his family.

    Have a good day, Barclay, Anderson, Erica, & all...

    July 28, 2008 at 10:44 am |
  13. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    McCain has always said a withrdrawal needs to be conditions based. His statement that 16 months may work based on conditions on the ground is not a contradiction. Obama had claimed he would have all the troops out within 16 months, period. Now he says there needs to be a residual force, without saying how many for how long. That IS a contradiction.

    July 28, 2008 at 10:43 am |
  14. Keith Marshall

    I live in the fourth riches city in the world for a fifteen miles radius and it's less than two percent black and there is no job market. Santa Barbara California, where for the last 25years I've own my own hair salon and the demographics do not look like me. I have heard all the issues and I just wanted to tell you that when Mr. Barack Obama came to Santa Barbara I was a little overwhelm because in my 32 years of living and as a business owner in the community I witness and never thought that the people that live here would never support a man like Mr. Obama but I was wrong I assume like everyone else in the world that he would just come and go.The mine set in of people and how we view the world we live in, did not think Mr. Obama would get this far. I've never seen the white people in our area support a person that looks like me or be that interested to see change in all of our lives. So we can't assume anything we all know what happens when we do that.
    Thanks Keith Marshall P.S. Just a thought I guess it's no fun when the rabbit got the gun. (smile)

    July 28, 2008 at 10:17 am |
  15. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Goog Morning Ac 360 staff
    The candiates are not reaching any sort of agreement about Iraq .
    There are so many differnt points of view burt how much more lives have to be wasted and troops lives cost before they call an end to this war of Oil ewhich is what itès all about. Politians are all the same saying anything to get elected promises,promises !

    Thanks Barclay for your posting on the buzz !
    Have a great day everyone and Anderson!
    Michelle D.

    July 28, 2008 at 9:49 am |
  16. anne,newfoundland canada

    I find it really strange,and somewhat suspicious,that Drew's name "just happens" to turn up on a no fly list,just after he did some investigating-hitting a bit too close to home,perhaps?

    A little too convenient,but I am sure there is "nothing to it," and it is a "coincidence",as they explained-so, OF COURSE,they are telling the truth.

    I hope Drew can try to track down this OTHER Drew Griffin in some way.
    Surely there must be photos,fingerprints,birthdate,or social security information to clear that up somehow,and tell the difference between them both.

    What will be next?
    Will Anderson and the entire 360 team show up on the list as well,for telling this story?

    July 28, 2008 at 9:44 am |
  17. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Good Morning 3

    July 28, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  18. Cindy

    IMO I think that Obama has moved closer to McCain's stance on the Iraq war. Because at first Obama was saying he'd yank them all out ASAP then he gradually went longer and longer on the pull out time. So he came over to John's side.

    And if Obama and Maliki really think that the Iraqi's can handle everything on their own without any U.S. presence there at all then they are sadly mistaken. The suicide bombings that occurred there will be nothing compared to what will happen if we don't have some residual forces there. So what is better...pulling them all out and having to go back in again to quell violence or leaving some there like McCain wants. That isn't a tough question to me!

    The shooting in the Tennessee church was sad. It seems no place is sacred or safe now a days. I feel really bad for the ushers family who gave his life to save others.


    July 28, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  19. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Morning everyone,

    I would like to know what exactly we have to win in Iraq. I know this is a war on terror but what exactly defines wining it?

    As far as McCain and Obama moving toward each others policy, what so wrong with that? Yes we need Obama’s timeline to get out and we also need McCain’s “conditions based” to do it safely.

    I’ll be watching tonight at 10, yall have a great day.

    July 28, 2008 at 9:36 am |