The White House is now bristling at the "stay the course" label for their position on Iraq as much as Democrats do at "cut and run" -- except that as the Washington Post points out, Bush has actually used the phrase "stay the course."
Flexibility is the Administration's new name of the game. Bloomberg reports off the White House briefing yesterday that they have "dropped the phrase 'stay the course' from discussions about Iraq... Communications strategists working with House Republicans circulated a three-page memo... that advises candidates to stress those same points," and "suggests Republicans highlight past statements by military and administration officials that show that the U.S. is adapting to changing military conditions and requiring Iraqi police and security forces to take a more prominent role."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged yesterday that the Iraqi government is making "projections" for the future of the country, but said there won't be any penalties for the government if they fail to meet those projections, per NBC's Courtney Kube. Rumsfeld called these discussions between Khalilzad, Casey, and the Iraqi government "a way ahead," so that the government "can have a set of tasks that they need to do to get prepared to assume the responsibility for governing their country and for providing security." He added that there will not likely be a specific date attached to the projections, but rather a "spread of two or three months" in which the Iraqis hope to meet certain milestones.
The AP follows up on the blog posting by Pat Tillman's brother, a former Army Ranger, who scathingly criticizes the Administration on the war.
The Heritage Foundation will host what they're billing as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's "first major policy address" since returning from Asia tomorrow in Washington.
Presidential contender and Sen. Joe Biden (D) co-authors a Wall Street Journal op-ed with the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations in which the two basically propose a solution for the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to recommend, with an eye toward winning acceptance on both sides of the aisle.