Fox News last night aired the first part of Bill O'Reilly's interview of Sen. Barack Obama. It's probably the toughest interview Obama's had to face and, while he keeps his composure, he's less than honest.
As recently as July, the Democratic presidential candidate declined to rate the surge a success, but said it had helped reduce violence in the country. On Thursday, Obama acknowledged the 2007 increase in U.S. troops has benefited the Iraqi people.
"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated," Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. "I've already said its succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."
However, he added, the country has not had enough "political reconciliation" and Iraqis still have not taken responsibility for their country.
"We have gone through five years of mismanagement of this war that I thought was disastrous, and the president wanted to double down and continue an open-ended policy (that did not put pressure on the Iraqi government)," he said.
First, it succeeded in ways that Gen. David Petraeus and Sen. John McCain anticipated. They thought it could work and it did. "Nobody?" Hardly.
Second, the surge was not a "double down and continue" strategy. It wasn't more of the same.
O'Reilly pushed Obama repeatedly to say he was right that going into Iraq in the first place was a mistake, but that he was wrong that the surge wouldn't work. Obama didn't budge.
When all you're running on is your (poor) judgment, you can never admit error.