Troops Out Of Iraq – President Obama is marking the end of the war in Iraq as the last troops from the region come home for good.
The President and first lady will travel to Fort Bragg on Wednesday to thank the returning troops in person for their service.
The president announced the withdraw of troops several weeks ago and now the last them are coming home. “This holiday seasons is going to be a season of homecomings, because by the end of December, all of our troops are going to be out of Iraq. They’re going to be back home.”
Seventy-five percent of all Americans say they approve of the decision to end the war this year, according to Pew Research Center President Andy Kohut. However, some alumni of the George W. Bush administration say the credit is misplaced: They note that President Bush set this timetable three years ago.
President Bush had made a surprise visit to Iraq for a symbolic signing of the deal to bring the troops home by December 2011. It was meant to create a good memory, but the day is more often remembered for a disruption at the news conference when an Iraqi TV journalist threw his shoes at Bush, shouting: “This is a gift from the Iraqis, this is a farewell kiss, you dog!” But even then, many administration officials did not expect the date to hold.
After Obama took office he vowed to end the war however and keep the withdraw timeline as close as possible.
Andy Kohut of Pew says politically however, this is unambiguously a win for Obama. And while this is hardly the top issue for American voters, Kohut says it does make a difference.
“It is not the most important thing on people’s minds, that is the economy and jobs specifically,” says Kohut, “But presidential leadership is nonetheless an important evaluation in decisions about who the next president will be. Not as important as the economy, but not unimportant either.”
That’s one more reason Obama will spend the week drawing attention to the troops’ return.