In a piece that will appear in tomorrow's issue, the New York Times joins its step-sister (the Boston Globe) in noticing the fortuitous timing of Barack Obama's emergence as a leading voice advocating withdrawal from Iraq:
"He was cautious (during his early days in the Senate) - even on the Iraq war, which he had opposed as a Senate candidate, he voted against the withdrawal of troops. He proposed a drawdown only after he was running for president and polls showed voters favoring it."
Two takeaways here: First, Obama's followers have become so blinded by his aura that they suspend the skepticism that they normally (and appropriately) have for politicians who conveniently evolve in the direction of popular opinion. Obama's base is noteworthy for its credulity, but Obama's apparent opportunism is unlikely to wear as well with voters beyond the candidate's most smitten followers.
Second, it's interesting that the Globe and the Times have taken a run at similar musty subjects on the same weekend. Coincidence? Or could there be something deeper at work here? Obviously, I'm not privy to either paper's editorial decision-making process (although rumors persistently swirl that chain-smoking monkeys locked to portable typewriters play an inordinate role in each), but I suspect that the chronic lack of access that Obama grants the media is causing the media to suspend the credulity that the swooning blogging masses still show.
The Times' nugget that I quoted above is a story that's over a year old. The Globe this morning reported on Obama's unequivocal support for the Iraq War in 2004; that one is over three years old. Reporters are obviously getting a lot more curious regarding Barack Obama, specifically the candidate's ratio of sizzle to steak. Of all the ominous developments that surrounded the Obama campaign this past week, this one could be the most foreboding.