Careful What You Wish For

The reviews are in :Obama’s trip to Iraqcame off without a hitch. John McCain, meanwhile, has managed to attract relentlessly negative coverage .His only break was Drudge touting his rejected New York Times op-ed,which wasn’t exactly flattering either. And it’s not just quality ofcoverage; it’s quantity, too. Just onereporter showed up as McCain’s plane landed in Manchester last night.

But it’s hard to complain when Obama’s trip was youridea in the first place . Back in May, John McCain chided Obama for onlyhaving traveled to Iraqonce. “He could meet Gen. Petraeus and he could meet Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker,and he could see — he could see the fact that Sadr Cityis quiet,” McCain said. “He could see that the Maliki government has takencontrol of Basra.He could see that the Iraqi military is leading the fight in these places withthe support of American troops.” McCain also approved of a joint trip to Iraqwith Obama.

The RNC piled on, too. “Obama has done shockingly little toeducate himself firsthand about the war in Iraq,” said RNC Chairman MikeDuncan at the time. “Obama’s failure to visit Iraq, listen and learn firsthandand witness the surge’s progress demonstrates weak leadership that disqualifieshim from being commander in chief.”

That’s not to say Obama wouldn’t have taken the trip without pressure from McCain. But the Arizonasenator’s challenge, coming from someone who has visited Iraq eighttimes since 2003, surely played a role.

So if the McCain camp is ” frustrated “by the attention being lavished on Obama, you can see why.