Speed Reads

Talking Heads

Sen. John McCain attacks Jay Carney during CNN debut

As President Obama is making his case for a new type of war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is still fighting the last war. On Wednesday night, former White House spokesman Jay Carney made his debut as CNN political analyst to discuss Obama's prime time ISIS speech, but he didn't get very far before McCain started laying in about Syrian rebels and whether or not Obama should have left a residual force in Iraq, why he didn't, and whether that would have prevented the rise of ISIS.

McCain does most of the fighting, Carney most of the sighing, and both men present their "facts." McCain said he "would favor" Obama's actions now, but argues that the 2006 "surge" won the war in Iraq and Obama lost it again by not leaving more than a handful of troops in the country. Carney said that neither Obama nor the American people wanted U.S. troops to remain in Iraq, and that Iraq's government scotched the possibility anyway by not agreeing to exempt U.S. troops from Iraq laws. Things got testy. They argue, you decide. --Peter Weber