Barack Obama Reveals His Steel

From my view, it was the most remarkable production in U.S. political history.

In  his historic speech, Barack Obama once again coupled Democrats with tenacity, determination, and the strength to stand up to the Republicans on the one issue they always use against us: national security. The Barack Obama that showed up last night is no one to be messed with. The sheer brute masculinity, coupled with his grace of delivery of the speech, put the Republicans, but more specifically, John McCain on notice.

"If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have." - Barack Obama, Democratic Nominee for President

Gone was the soaring word fogs that had so troubled me during the primary season. Replaced by sculpted rhetoric that carved out a critique of George W. Bush and John McCain that could only conjure up images of the hug. Obama took the speaking style that mesmerized voters for the last eighteen months, but this time added a dividing line between himself and his adversary, willing to not only draw distinction, but political blood.

For -- for while -- while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face.

When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.

You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.

And today, today, as my call for a timeframe to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficit, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

"Muddle through" in Afghanistan, that was John McCain's foreign policy prescription. Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, feels otherwise.

"I don't have troops I can reach for, brigades I can reach, to send into Afghanistan until I have a reduced requirement in Iraq," Mullen told reporters at the Pentagon. "Afghanistan has been and remains an economy-of-force campaign, which by definition means we need more forces there."