Is there an echo in here?
Despite all their sparring over the war in Iraq, President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry have one thing in common when it comes to foreign policy: Neither wants to draw attention to how much they actually agree.
--Los Angeles Times
How and why the United States went to war with Iraq will be debated for years. How the United States can get out, however, is a far more urgent question. On that topic, the candidates have remarkably similar answers.
...for all the talk about stark differences - on many foreign policy subjects... the two differ only slightly, if at all.
Even on Iraq, the candidates' sharpest stated differences are retrospective, rather than prospective. Mr. Bush defends the war as central to the struggle against terrorism; Mr. Kerry criticizes it as a diversion. As they look ahead, though, neither man is calling for the immediate departure of American troops; both advocate accelerating the training of Iraqi forces.
--New York Times
Gee, when have I heard this before? Could it have been just after Kerry's NYU speech?
"Forty-three days before the election, my opponent has now settled on a proposal for what to do next," Mr. Bush said there, "and it's exactly what we're currently doing."
Why is this the lead? Shortly after the NYU speech we had, in The New York Times, "2 Iraq Views, 2 Campaigns":
To hear President Bush and John Kerry argue bitterly in the past two days about the American mission in Iraq is to wonder if they are talking about the same war, or even the same country.
Is this new emphasis on the candidates' similarities -- which comes at a time when Kerry's statements and ads on the war are becoming much tougher and more pointed -- just a Truth that's slowly dawned on all these reporters at the same time? Are the reporters parroting GOP spin? Or is it that, after so many years in which the GOP has set the terms of one debate after another, Beltway reporters don't even know the difference anymore between what they hear from Republican spinners and what they actually think?
Remember: These are the same people who told you four years ago that you'd barely be able to tell a Bush and Gore presidency apart.