Maybe they are beginning to feel a little bit of what it’s like to be president. Can you say accountability? Can you say your choices now have real world consequences? Can you say it’s no longer adequate to sit on the bench and just criticize the quarterback?
The 2008 Democratic presidential candidates, who have been nearly unified in support of universal healthcare, abortion rights and alternative energy, have begun an increasingly harsh debate over an issue that will probably define the early part of the campaign: when to remove troops from Iraq.
Until recently, most Democratic presidential candidates, like the party generally, found success by bashing President Bush's Iraq strategy without offering comprehensive alternatives.
As Obama said to the Democrats at their winter meeting:
"It was enough to run against George Bush during this past congressional election; it will not be enough now," he said. "The American people are expecting more. They want to know what we are going to do."
To continue the football metaphor this Super Bowl weekend, the Democrat presidential hopefuls will continue to gang tackle the president, but now they’ll begin to see what it’s like to run a pattern out into the flat and get slammed by a linebacker. For those of us who’ve backed the president lo these many years it’s nice to see others beginning to feel the heat for policies they actually have to defend and that they may very well have to answer for in the future.