I’ve got a different interpretation of the news–via ThinkProgress–that Bush is advising Democrats to keep their options open to sustain the permanent war in Iraq.

Bush has “been urging candidates: ‘Don’t get yourself too locked inwhere you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, thingscould change dramatically.’ ”

Bolten said Bush wants enoughcontinuity in his Iraq policy that “even a Democratic president wouldbe in a position to sustain a legitimate presence there.”

“Especiallyif it’s a Democrat,” the chief of staff told The Examiner in his WestWing office. “He wants to create the conditions where a Democrat notonly will have the leeway, but the obligation to see it out.”

Rather than some Rovian gimmick to gain advantage in the presidential election, I think this just suggests that Bush believes that when a Democrat becomes President in 2009 (and I do think this suggests he thinks it highly likely), she will review intelligence and get advice and realize that the US must stay in Iraq. Here’s the logic Bush offers.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.