THE STAKES IN IRAQ

A soldier encourages us to avoid depression about the painfully slow progress in Iraq. He’s right. Here’s some rank speculation. If the president understands that his ultimate legacy will indeed be Iraq, and that history will judge him primarily on that matter, then he needs a successor. This process will take real time and relentlessness. Who better than McCain? He can recast conservatism away from its intolerant, sectarian trend and back to the center. And he can bring to the war ferocity and humanity and trust. A McCain succession would not only be good for the country but for Bush as well. Especially if he anoints McCain himself.

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