“With all the breathless coverage from abroad, and with Sen. Obama now addressing his speeches to the people of the world, I’m starting to feel a little left out. Maybe you are, too.”

But Obama sought to turn that back on his critics. He said McCain had earlier been “telling me I was supposed to take this trip. He suggested it and thought it was a good idea.”

The trip was designed by the campaign to show Obama on an international stage in a way that aides hoped would reassure voters who have doubts about his ability to become commander in chief or chart a course for American foreign policy. Jews at home were an audience of particular concern, reflected in his two-night stay in Jerusalem.

McCain has long opposed Obama’s call for a 16-month timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq. On Friday, though, McCain said, “I think it’s a pretty good timetable, as we should — or horizons for withdrawal,” echoing a phrase Bush used in recent days. “But they have to be based on conditions on the ground.”

At his news conference, Obama jumped on that to say there was now some convergence “around a proposal that we have been making for a year and a half.”

So, Obama admits that McCain is the one that suggested he take an overseas trip and when the subject of his trip was more ego-stroke than political fact-finding it appears the world press is ready to crown him king President. Then in a weak effort at spin, Obama says that for the past 18 months he has suggested a 16-month timetable for troop withdrawal. Under his idea, the troops would have been gone 2 months ago, with no surge and no success from the surge.

Then he offers yet another explanation why he felt the need to cancel on the visit to injured troops at Ramstein.

The senator also said he had canceled a planned trip to visit wounded members of the armed forced in Germany after officials told him a retired two-star general who is an adviser was considered campaign staff and “it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy but wasn’t on the Senate staff.”

excerpts from AP
7/27/8