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Iraq

Already this morning, Bush formally announced Admiral Michael Mullen as the new Joint Chiefs chairman. Later in the morning, he makes remarks at the Naval War College in Rhode Island. With Dick Lugar and other GOP senators pealing away from the Bush Administration on Iraq, Biden's presidential campaign yesterday sent First Read a research document demonstrating that Biden -- for the last six months -- has stressed that the only way to change Bush's policies in Iraq is to get GOP lawmakers to split from Bush. "Senator Biden said from the outset of the surge that the president would not change course until his party deserted him," Biden campaign spokesman Mark Paustenbach said. "That process is hopefully beginning." 

Also, GQ has an interview with outgoing White House counselor Dan Bartlett, and he makes this confession: "There was never a more benign incident that turned into a bigger messaging problem than 'Mission Accomplished.' It set the wrong tone for what became a protracted, difficult mission. If there was ever a do-over, that would be it." And on Rumsfeld: "There was a comment Rumsfeld made in one of those books where he claimed that he took the phrase mission accomplished out of the speech itself but that he couldn't get the banner pulled down. That's just wrong. I went back and looked at every draft of the speech. That phrase was never in it."