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From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On Iraq

MORT KONDRACKE: [T]he most important thing is that Bush reiterated we are not pulling out until this job is done, which sets up a much bigger confrontation with the Democrats down the line . . .

FRED BARNES: Mort, that was not the most important thing he said. He said it many times, we knew there was going to be a fight. What he said was “When I see the Prime Minister Maliki on Wednesday, I’m going to land on him. I’m going to tell him that he has to do something about these militias right now.

MARA LIASSON: What if [Maliki] won’t or can’t? The fact that he hasn’t done it so far suggests that he either can’t or won’t.

BARNES: Well, it suggests — we know he can, but it suggests that he won’t. Well, maybe his government should fall. . . . Maybe Sadr is right in saying that “I’m going to pull out, his government falls and we get a new prime minister.” It looks like we need one.

On Barack Obama

KONDRACKE: My theory about all this is that the American people are yearning for somebody who would be a real uniter, not a divider, in this poisonous polarization of politics. . . .

Now  . . . something like 50 percent or 40 percent of the people don’t even . . . think they know enough to have an opinion about Barack Obama. Only nine percent think they don’t have an opinion about Rudy Giuliani. But most people don’t know Rudy Giuliani, either. All they know is that he was a hero of 9/11 and that’s what their image of him is. I mean . . . the scrutiny machine has not been turned on those two yet.

BARNES: Does [Obama] have something unique to bring to the presidential race? And the answer is yes. And I agree with what Mara said. If he gets in the race, he’s the challenger of Hillary Clinton, and I think he could be a strong challenger. He stirs people in a way . . . that Hillary can’t.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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