Obama Off The Cuff

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Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic, reporting on a columnists' lunch with the president, captures Obama's candid thinking about the surge — language I wish the president had included in his speech tonight:

In the absence of that push, we are in a situation that doesn't change. And there are big costs associated to troop presence, to casualties, to a slowly deteriorating situation over a course of years that are at least comparable — and probably worse — than us going ahead and making this big push now.

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