Remember when "timetable" was a dirty word for Republicans?
Back in January of this year, John McCain pilloried Mitt Romney for encouraging President Bush in April of 2007 to develop a private "series of timetables and milestones" for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
"Timetables was the buzzword for those that wanted to get out," McCain scolded Romney at a Jan. 30th Reagan Library debate.
How the (time)tables have turned.
During a Friday interview with CNN, McCain called a 16-month withdrawal from Iraq "a pretty good timetable."
That answer came when McCain was asked by Wolf Blitzer about the Iraqi prime minister's recent description of a 16-month timetable as "the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
Barack Obama, of course, has long favored a 16-month timetable for withdrawal.
Having rankled some voters early in the campaign by signaling his willingness to stay in Iraq for "100 years," McCain has made a series of moves recently to reassure voters that the bulk of U.S. combat troops would not be in Iraq beyond the end of his first term.
In a May 2008 speech laying out his goals for his first term, McCain predicted that "most" U.S. servicemen and women will have been welcomed home by January 2013.
After meeting with President George H.W. Bush on Monday, McCain was asked by a reporter whether it was "conceivable" that sufficient progress could be made to allow for withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in about two years.
McCain answered: "I think largely withdrawn."
While McCain is talking up the possibility of a condition-based speedy withdrawal, his campaign still maintains that there are fundamental differences with Barack Obama on Iraq.
For starters, McCain argues that withdrawal from Iraq would not be possible without the troop surge that he supported and Obama opposed.
The McCain camp also argues that the Arizona senator would give U.S. commanders in Iraq more flexibility than the Democratic nominee.
Although Obama has pledged to consult military leaders, McCain's team believes that the Democratic base would not permit Obama to slow his withdrawal even if he were advised that such a course were necessary.
"What Senator McCain is pointing out is that what's important is making sound decisions based on the conditions on the ground," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told ABC News. "If that means 16 months, that's great. But if that means 20 months then that's what we'll do."
"The difference," he added, "is what's your goal? Is it victory? Or is it retreat?"
"Wow, me thinks he doth protest too much on that '45' line."
--Huckabee Iowa Campaign Manager Eric Woolson responding in jest to Tim Pawlenty's vigorous assertion that Ken Mehlman was joking when he said that Pawlenty's wife refers to her husband as the 45th president of the United States
Read Pawlenty's exclusive interview with ABC News at ABCNEWS.COM.
SATURDAY, JULY 26
On the campaign front. . .
-- 2:45 ET: Speaks via satellite to the National Forum on Disability Issues.
-- Events in London.
SUNDAY, JULY 27
On the campaign front . . .
-- 12:00 pm ET: Speaks at the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention, Chicago, IL.
MONDAY, JULY 28
On the campaign front. . .
-- 12:00 pm ET: Attends Women For Obama lunch reception, Chicago, IL.
At the White House. . .
-- 11:10 a.m. Meets with the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Oval Office.
FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH
-- 11:40 am ET: Speaks at the 5th annual Reading First Conference, Nashville, TN.
-- 3:30 pm ET: Visits the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, Flat Rock, SC.
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Teddy Davis and Gregory Wallace: Pawlenty Previews Pro-McCain Pitch LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller and Luis Martinez: Obama Camp Pins Scrubbed Troop Visit on Pentagon LINK
ABC News' David Wright: The John McCain Workout LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Sarkozy to Obama: Je t'aime LINK
ABC News' Teddy Davis: Bloomberg Told to Cool Pro-McCain Rhetoric LINK
ABC News' David Wright: McCain Accuses Obama of Pandering on Iraq LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Just Hours Later, Obama Campaign Uses Berlin Speech to Raise Campaign Cash LINK
ABC News' Eliza Browning and Mark Mooney: McCain Closes Gap in Battleground States, Eyes Running Mate Pick LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama's Prayer Excavated from Cracks of Western Wall and Published in Newspaper LINK
ABC News' Rick Klein: Will Americans Buy Obama's Global Pitch? LINK
ABC News' Jennifer Parker: Obama Echoes Reagan in Call for Global Unity LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
'The Note' Rewinds the Week's Best Moments
ABC News' Senior Political Reporter Rick Klein on the weekly political roundup. LINK
Circus on Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill hearing on presidential powers: Many members call for impeachment. LINK
'This Week' Webcast
Candidates at home and abroad. LINK
McCain Attends Armstrong Cancer Summit
Sen. McCain attends a LIVESTRONG summit and discusses his battle with melanoma. LINK
Richard Simmons Takes On Capitol Hill
The exercise guru is in a fight to save physical education. LINK
Obama Unity Message Resonates in Berlin
Sen. Obama discusses U.S.-Europe relationship before 200,000 crowd. LINK
The Bottom Line on the Veepstakes
George Stephanopoulos discusses the candidates and their running mate options. LINK
Campaigning Across the World
In Germany, Barack Obama drew his largest crowd yet. LINK
Pentagon: Obama Troop Visit Not Discouraged
Pentagon Spokesperson Bryan Whitman denies telling Obama not to visit troops in Germany. LINK
Kimmel: McCain Stalled at Supermarket
Jimmy shows how the presidential candidates are having very different weeks. LINK
Obama on the World Stage
The presidential hopeful's speech drew 200,000 people in Berlin. LINK