Michael Barone

 And minds are changing in the United States. On "Nightline," The New York Times' Thomas Friedman and, with caveats, The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell agreed that the Iraqi election was a "tipping point" (the title of one of Gladwell's books) and declined Ted Koppel's invitation to say things could easily tip back the other way.

 In the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, Yale's John Lewis Gaddis credited George W. Bush with "the most sweeping of U.S. grand strategy since the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt," criticized Bush's implementation of that strategy in measured tones and called for a "renewed strategic bipartisanship."

 One Democrat so inclined is the party's most likely 2008 nominee, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. She voted for the Iraq war and has not wavered in her support -- she avoided voting for the $87 billion before voting against it. She has kept clear of the Michael Moore left and its shrill denunciations of Bush and has kept her criticisms well within the bounds of normal partisan discourse.

 "Where we stand right now, there can be no doubt that it is not in America's interests for the Iraqi government, the experiment in freedom and democracy, to fail," she said on "Meet the Press" on Feb. 20. "So I hope that Americans understand that and that we will have as united a front as is possible in our country at this time to keep our troops safe, make sure they have everything they need and try to support this new Iraqi government."

 Moveon.org may want to keep shrieking about weapons of mass destruction, but Clinton is moving on.

 George W. Bush gambled that actions can change minds. So far, he's winning.

Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM