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Sunday Counterintuition

Chait understandably calls Maliki's encouragement for a withdrawal timetable "a huge, huge deal." For the moment, yes. But is it possible that such a shift in the Iraq debate could be a good thing for... McCain? Many voters were no doubt unsetlled by McCain's (unfairly alleged) vision of a 100-year war. If the debate shifts to who can more effectively manage the logistics of wrapping things up, that could well benefit McCain more than a sharp contrast about whether prolonging the war, one in which McCain holds the unpopular position. Obama can rightly crow in the short term, but I'm not sure it's obvious how this plays out for November.

--Michael Crowley