McCain faults administration on Iraq

COLUMBUS, Ohio – “I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required,” McCain said. “Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I’m just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.”

The Arizona senator said that talk “has contributed enormously to the frustration that Americans feel today because they were led to believe this could be some kind of day at the beach, which many of us fully understood from the beginning would be a very, very difficult undertaking.”

McCain must have read this headline “The Next “John McCain” about Chuck Hagel.

As has been pointed out this morning, Chuck Hagel has now “officially” supplanted John McCain, at least in the eyes of this WashPost book reviewer, as the straight talkin’, outsider, maverick, martyr for his belief in what’s right. John McCain has been reduced to “administration booster,” while Chuck Hagel has fallen out of favor with the rightwing, GOP establishment for “repeatedly challenging the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill and leveling bruising critiques of President Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq and domestic policy.”

Tie this to the comments that Newt Gingrich made:

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I think we have to recognize that the strategy which they have been following has failed. And I think it’s important to recognize that, because until you’re prepared to admit that this strategy’s failed, you’re not going to have the energy and the drive to shift to a new strategy.

It seems the race is on to be the Anti-“War as Bush is running it” Republican candidate.

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