Unfortunately, for Mrs. Clinton, however, Mr. Obama has proven himself to be a formidable candidate who may well close the gap again, having more money than she has, and showing the magnetic personality that she lacks. Now that he’s gotten over his early mistakes he’s in a position to climb again.
Mrs. Clinton will do everything she can to keep Mr. Obama from getting close. Until that happens, look for her to talk like a warrior, distancing herself from her liberal record.
She may even create a Sister Souljah moment like Bill Clinton in 1992, turning on one or two radical groups that she’s currently allied with — like DailyKos — to align herself with Middle America.
Now, look at the Republicans.
There can be no doubt that the chief beneficiaries of progress in Iraq are Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. This is Mr. McCain’s top issue as a war hero, and for Mr. Guiliani it gets back to his proven ability to stand strong and be calm in the midst of tragedy and crisis.
This also creates a challenge for the governors in the race, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. They will have to make the case that they’re ready to handle these overseas challenges.
The Petraeus report is certainly something Mr. Huckabee needs to consider closely. With his very strong showing in the Iowa Straw Poll, he’s now accepted as a viable candidate. Money is pouring in, fundraisers are being held, and he’s pushing forward in additional states. It’s his chance to play in the major leagues.
Mr. Huckabee should invest some of these newfound resources into expanding his foreign policy team, and add national security and foreign relations material to his stump speech. He’s gotten people’s attention with health care, education, and family. Now he needs to do it with Iran and North Korea.
America is looking for a commander in chief who can fight and win the war on terror. This is a conflict against radical Islamic militants, waging a global jihad against Western civilization. Every candidate needs to explain what they would do, and every voter must demand a president who can keep us safe.