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Novak: 2008 elections force a December '07 pullout from Iraq

Mike Sheehan
Published: Wednesday January 31, 2007
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Conservative columnist Robert Novak writes in the latest Evans-Novak Political Report that a US military pullout from Iraq will likely occur at the end of 2007, in order to give Republicans "a chance" in the 2008 elections.

"Although President George W. Bush officially is opposed to setting any time table for getting out of Iraq," says Novak, "senior administration officials and Republican leaders in Congress privately say there cannot be U.S. boots on the ground or blood being spilled in Iraq when 2008 begins if Republicans are to have a chance in next year's elections.

"That effectively sets a December 2007 deadline for getting out."

President Bush said Monday in an interview with NPR's Juan Williams that he was "reluctant to put timetables on the situation because there are people who listen to what I say and others in America say, and are willing to adjust their timetables to our timetable."

Meanwhile, 2008 presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) yesterday offered an alternative "Obama Plan" which would pull troops from Iraq by March 31 of next year.

Elsewhere in Novak's latest subscriber-only report, he says that "Republicans are reacting to their '06 defeat by showing how terrible the Democrats are, and that is usually a sign of trouble for the opposition party. Typically, Republicans are shutting down debate about what course their party should take."

He also writes of the Democrats that they are finding out that the Senate is "a sluggish, quirky and madly frustrating body that slows all progress and stops most legislation in its tracks."