871 Days

The Republican National Committee is highlighting Barack's failure to visit Iraq in nearly two and a half years as more evidence of his lack of readiness to handle foreign policy, joining an argument that McCain stumbled on a few days ago. Chairman Mike Duncan writes on the GOP website:
Barack Obama has only visited Iraq once – and that was 871 days ago. Despite lacking the experience and leadership to be Commander-in-Chief, Obama has done shockingly little to educate himself firsthand about the war in Iraq. Instead, he displays an arrogant certainty gained on the campaign trail.
That's the sort of factoid that arguments are built around in campaigns. This guy is the big anti-war candidate, why does he ignore the positive changes since the surge? Is it because he has preconceived notions that are impenetrable by reality? Is he naive?
Why does Obama readily agree to one-on-one negotiations with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but decline one-on-one briefings in Baghdad with our military leaders? Obama’s failure to visit Iraq, listen and learn firsthand, and witness the surge’s progress demonstrates weak leadership that disqualifies him from being Commander in Chief.
McCain's invitation that they travel together to Iraq so that he could educate Barack was turned down by the democrat, but his campaign says it is considering a trip there this summer:
Sen. Barack Obama is considering a visit to Iraq this summer, his first since becoming a presidential candidate.

Republican rival John McCain has criticized him for failing to visit Iraq since 2006. Obama also declined McCain's invitation for a joint trip, saying he didn't want "to be involved in a political stunt," according to a report Wednesday on The New York Times Web site.

While Obama is right to respond, his response proves the resonance of the issue, and it puts him perpetually on the defensive. Whenever the trip is covered, it will include a mention that it was done in response to the McCain taunting.
McCain, who campaigned Wednesday in Nevada, has been criticizing him for not returning, and the Republican Party joined the attack Wednesday by launching an online clock to count the days since Obama last visited.