Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Who Will Be the First Dem to Go to Baghdad?

Kevin at Boots on the Ground makes an interesting observation from Iraq. How come none of the Democratic presidential candidates have come to Iraq to see for themselves what conditions are like?

If I were John Edwards' campaign manager I'd be arranging a visit to Baghdad right now. It would instantly differentiate one candidate from all the others, establish gravitas, courage, boldness, yada, yada.

It would also be a great photo-op: walking around town with a flak jacket to the crackle of gunfire, wounded women and children begging for an end to the occupation. Hordes of enraged Iraqis shouting "Death to Bush" in unison with occasional Toyota Landcruisers strafing the crowd before crashing through the plate glass windows at the local Cha'que al Cheeze restaurant and detonating in the midst of a children's birthday party.

Holy smokes . . . who wouldn't vote to cut and run after a death defying holiday in hell like that.

I guess the trouble is that the earnest candidate might look silly in the flak jacket in the middle of a bustling and working city. He might also be ignored by the local hot heads. Might even be dissed by the troops he (or she in the case of Carol Measly Brain) so passionately supports. Voters might get the wrong impression that things are under control.

Yeah, scratch that idea. Better to criticize from afar than actually see what's happening on the ground.

My guess is that one of the candidates will do it soon. And I bet it's either Clark or Lieberman. Edwards would be boyishly out of place. Dean would be unwelcome by everyone except the local Fedeyeen. Kerry the war hero is too cautious to put himself in actual danger. And the others so insignificant that they may already be there for all I know.

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