Abstract

The examination of 25 pre-primary and primary debates of the 2008 campaign indicates most Republicans, over time, moved toward ever stronger support of President Bush and the surge policy, while continuing to link meeting the challenge in Iraq with the war on terror and moral resolve. The Democrats, conversely, increasingly embraced timetables for withdrawal. McCain and Obama, the ultimate victors, depicted Iraq as the defining issue that best reflected their respective leadership capabilities, thereby setting the key frames of "judgment" and "experience" that would continue to dominate the 2008 general election, even when the economy eclipsed Iraq as an issue.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 223-277
Launched on MUSE
2009-06-25
Open Access
No
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