When asked to clarify, he would go on to say that it could be 1,000 years, or even a million years. These are the lines that try Democrats' souls. But McCain was right about the long war. It was a sensible answer. And though it doesn't sound like the most attractive answer -- who wants 100 years in Iraq? -- it was straight talk from a senator who has a better track record on Iraq than most. And it may not hurt his campaign, either.
Pew reports that Americans are split about whether the war is going well or not. They're split over bringing the troops home or keeping them there. But they know that 4,000 American lives have been lost valiantly, and Americans don't like losing something they've gone into with their blood.
According to Pew, 53 percent of Americans think we can win this. A CBS poll indicates 42 percent acknowledging the surge has worked -- it's meant progress. Contrary to the way the Dems talk, a Gallup poll had a minority (18 percent) favoring withdrawing the troops immediately.
Say what you want about McCain, but he's been right about Iraq. He was right to say "no surrender." He was right to support the surge. By contrast, Obama has been endorsed by MoveOn.org, which had the nerve to suggest Gen. David Petraeus was betraying us with false information. Clinton refused to condemn the ad, which was no surprise given the disrespect she showed the general in congressional questioning.
Bottom line: Right now there are three choices on the table. Not one of them enthuses me. But only one is a leader. Maybe not on all the issues I care about, but if McCain looks out for the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, that's more than Clinton and Obama appear to be offering in their bids to be commander in chief.