The Note: Obama Gets Benefits, Not Blame, of Surge

By Alexa Ainsworth

Jul 22, 2008 8:15am

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports in Tuesday’s Note: Was Sen. John McCain right about the surge yet not getting credit for it?

Was Sen. Barack Obama wrong about it and getting credit for it anyway?

Does anyone in the history of presidential politics have Obama-like luck?

Does McCain have to make his own luck — or can he count on The New York Times  or Obama himself to make it for him?

OK — let’s back up. Here’s an easier question to answer: Who had the better day — the guy in the golf cart, or the guy in the chopper?

As for who will have the better week — that may have been determined before Obama, D-Ill., touched down in Iraq.

Read the rest of The Note — and get all the latest on the 2008 election, Congress, the White House and the wide world of politics every day — from Rick Klein by bookmarking this link.

Now that Obama is on to Jordan, Israel, and the rest of his trip (Tuesday brings his first press availability since leaving US soil) it’s just possible that perceptions are set: Obama went to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the world followed him — not McCain’s.

(That includes Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and maybe even President Bush.)

The trip so far: "Better than they could have imagined," ABC’s George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America" Monday. "Events are really conspiring to help Sen. Obama here."

But might this be the opening McCain needs to get back in the conversation — to make the central question one of judgment on the surge, not the war?

"Attacks across the country are down more than 80 percent. Still, when asked if knowing what he knows now, he would support the surge, the senator said no," per ABC’s Terry Moran, Melinda Arons, and Katie Escherich.

Continue reading today’s Note by clicking HERE.

ABC News’ Rachel Humphries, John Santucci and Alexa Ainsworth contributed to this report.

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