What if Bush wins the war after all?

by ExtremeCentrePoint on Saturday, 24 November, 2007 · 0 comments

in Ирак и Иран

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What if this goes on? What are the political implications for 2008?
The smart view among the political cognoscenti has been that it won’t matter at all. A little over a week ago I asked Charlie Cook, the political superpundit, whether, if there was a steadily improving picture out of Iraq over the next year it might start to change public impressions of President Bush and the Republicans. He was dismissive, very much of the view that opinion was firmly established and would not change even if Iraq turned into Switzerland overnight.
So I was very struck by this article of Cook’s posted at the weekend. He still doesn’t think the war can become an asset for Republicans, but, as he says, it could stop making their prospects worse.
I suspect public opinion may yet change on Iraq. I doubt a majority of voters will ever think the war has been a triump , but two things are distinctly possible:
1 The news gets to the point where Iraq ceases to be a drag on Bush’s ratings, and if that happens it will change overall perceptions of the Bush presidency. If his approval ratings are at 45 per cent a year from now, rather than the current 35 per cent, that can’t be anything other than good news for his party. (Though it still doesn’t mean they’ll win.)
2 A pretty strong case can be made that the surge has been a success. This is tricky for the Democrats. They fiercely opposed the surge and issued dire warnings about what would happen if it went ahead. They insisted on and tried to legislate an immediate withdrawal of US forces last spring. That doesn’t look smart right now.

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