In March, John McCain said that setting a timetable for American withdrawal from Iraq would be “an unconscionable act of betrayal.” But McCain also said three years ago that we’d have to get out if the elected Iraqi government asked us to get out.
McCain’s flacks say that Maliki’s position is “consistent” with McCain’s.
I think this is A Big Deal.
Update AFP story gives the most natural interpretation:
Iraq’s hardening demand for a pullout deadline for US troops on Tuesday sent shockwaves through the White House campaign, putting Republican hopeful John McCain on the defensive.
Will that get to be the established narrative? A lot could hang on the answer to that question.