Opinion: With findings already found, Obama’s fact-finding trip can relax


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A couple of seemingly unrelated political developments struck the Ticket early this morning.

First of all, it was unusually thoughtful of Sen. Barack Obama to give his big foreign policy speech before his big foreign policy trip and announce the results of his findings in advance of the actual fact-finding junket to the Middle East and Europe.


There are a lot of things for average Americans to be doing in mid-summer in the United States. And worrying over exactly what the freshman senator heard from U.S., military commanders in Iraq about the actual situation on the ground should not be high on the list.

So now that we know he’s going to stick to his 16-month end-the-war-no-matter-what pullout, not just the crowd but all of us can put on our own flip-flops and start focusing on the upcoming NFL roster cuts.

No, he’s never been to Afghanistan, but Obama already knows it is the true central front in the war on al-Qaeda. Which is equally good.

And because the results of Obama’s trip are already known and because Obama’s staff has been practically begging them, all three network anchors are going to traipse along and seek three non-exclusive exclusive interviews along the route, as will top reporters for print media.

A whole planeload apparently. In marked contrast to the limited press coverage afforded the three foreign trips of Republican Sen. John McCain this year. But that probably has to do with something.

Without worrying over content, Obama’s five-nation, 12,000-mile ‘tour’ can be the rock star event Chicago HQ wants. Of course, if he does another one of those ‘Thank you, Sioux City’ things and it gets reported, that might be another thing.

Speaking of change to believe in, ABC’s Jake Tapper is reporting that Hillary Clinton has changed her hair and is now parting it on the right, which as believers in the actual little-known hair-part theory understand, is the more feminine side.


We’ll leave it to Jake to explain all the details, but right hair parts are believed to connote strength, leadership and masculinity, which explains Jimmy Carter’s troubled presidency and Margaret Thatcher’s success but not Ronald Reagan’s.

The other good news is that -- finally -- after nearly six weeks of not campaigning for a presidency somewhere Clinton has launched her fund-raising for the 2012 election. She says the money drive is for a New York senate reelection effort that year.

But someone just pointed out that 2012 also happens to be the same year as the next U.S. presidential election. What a coincidence, eh?

-- Andrew Malcolm