Sure, the Straight Talk Express ain't what it used to be. But John McCain is still startlingly candid on occasion. Take today, for example. At an event in Rock River, Ohio, the Arizona senator told the crowd that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding--and if he can't, "then I lose. I lose."
"I don't think there's any doubt that how [voters] judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me," he added.
McCain, of course, is right: his fate is tied to Mesopotamia. (If the president thing doesn't work out, Mac, perhaps you should consider a slot with the McLaughlin Group.) But it's not only--or even mostly--what happens on the ground in Baghdad that matters. In truth, McCain's White House chances may have more do with another candid admission, and how strongly it influences voters' judgment--not of Iraq, but of the candidate himself:
"Make it 10...