Put this in the chronicles of “Smart people who say stupid things” :
Ben Smith has a write up of the exchange:
“He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator,” she said at one point in the interview.
Power downplayed Obama’s commitment to quick withdrawal from Iraq on Hard Talk, a program that often exceeds any of the U.S. talk shows in the rigor of its grillings. She was challenged on Obama’s Iraq plan, as it appears on his website, which says that Obama “will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”
“What he’s actually said, after meting with the generals and meeting with intelligence professionals, is that you – at best case scenario – will be able to withdraw one to two combat brigades each month. That’s what they’re telling him. He will revisit it when he becomes president,” Power says.
The host, Stephen Sackur, challenged her:”So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out in 16 months isn’t a commitment isn’t it?”
“You can’t make a commitment in March 2008 about what circumstances will be like in January of 2009,” she said. “He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator.
There’s some truth to this of course, but talk about things that you DON’T say to the media, particularly the foreign media.