Apparently he reads Donklephant. Who knew? Or perhaps my advice was just so obvious that even the McCain campaign could figure it out.

Yesterday, Justin posted a video of a John McCain interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Justin’s post focused on McCain second guessing Maliki’s statements about a 2010 time frame for US withdrawal. McCain asserted that Maliki was just playing politics for the home crowd. I found the exchange later in the interview to be far more interesting.

ABC, MSNBC, and the New York Times highlighted the money quote:

“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 time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.”

The Left of center blogosphere jumped all over it, called it a flip-flop, and completely missed the important point. Sure it was a flip-flop. But most Obama supporters cheered when Obama flip-flopped “moved to the center” on a whole host of issues. So let us just say that Maliki has permitted McCain to “move to the center” on Iraq. You know – where most of the voters are. With this move, McCain takes away the single biggest issue advantage that Obama has over him with moderate, centrist, independent and libertarian voters.

Point being, if there is no practical difference on an Iraq withdrawal time frame between McCain and Obama, independent voters will find it easier to support MCain based on other priorities. This may be difficult for the kool-aid crowd on the left to accept, but… Not all moderates and independents are enamored with a toe-the-party-line Democratic President, a 100 vote Democratic majority in the House, and a filibuster proof Democratic Senate all promising more taxes, more regulation, more spending programs, more faith based initiatives, less free trade, mandatory government service, no new drilling, and a return to corrupt single party K-Street earmark business as usual. All of this only becomes important when there is little or no practical difference between Obama and McCain on Iraq. At this point, the only real difference between them is rhetoric.

I am beginning to think we should postpone the coronation, and go ahead and hold the election.

Politics John McCain takes my advice.