A headline in this morning’s New York Times described the last days of Qaddafi’s life as “deluded, defiant and unwilling to quit”. I laughed and thought, “just like like Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann”. The Republican Presidential field does make you wonder about the current state of our democratic process. Here you have at least two candidates that are in the race solely to raise their speaking fees (Cain and Gingrich). Four more candidates who have as much chance of being the Republican nominee as I do (Santorum, Huntsman, Bachmann and Paul). One candidate (Perry) who was riding high in the polls until he opened his mouth and then went into freefall. And then there is Mitt Romney, who has never held a firm opinion on anything for more than about a month and has never been able to attract more than 25% of the vote in any poll.
My guess is that Romney will get the nomination next summer, but not before being bludgeoned with the blunt force instrument of Perry’s Texas sized war chest. In the end, the evangelicals (and much of the Tea Party) will stay home in the November election and Obama will win on the strength of a great ground game, continued foreign policy success and a gradually improving economy. Then hopefully the Tea Party will split off into a third party, forever dooming both themselves and the Country Club Republicans to the wilderness of irrelevancy.
For Obama, getting out of both Iraq and Afghanistan would allow him to make real his promise of last week.
The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home. As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world. And as we welcome home our newest veterans, we’ll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned.
This includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation — creating opportunity and jobs in this country. Because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build — is our own; an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we’ve restored our leadership around the globe.