Of course, after his handlers had gotten to him, he toned down the rhetoric and defeatist attitude.
Liz Sidoti, writing from Rocky River, Ohio, notes once he was back on the bus, he softened his talk:
Let me not put it that stark. Let me just put it this way: Americans will judge my candidacy first and foremost on how they believe I can lead the county both from our economy and for national security. Obviously, Iraq will play a role in their judgment of my ability to handle national security.No, I think the first one was closer to the truth: "If I can't convince the voters that our policy in Iraq is succeeding, I lose."
If I may, I'd like to retract "I'll lose." But I don't think there's any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge. Clearly, I am tied to it to a large degree.
I, for one, believe his candidacy is eight years too late. Had he been the Republican nominee, perhaps history would be different...