I suspect this is less an example of self-contradiction than of creative editing by Larry King’s producers, but it’s amusing enough to warrant a post. The Economist, by way of Glenn and Jonah, plucked it from the transcript of Monday night’s show:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: And if George Bush doesn’t listen, then we’re going to make him listen because it’s time for us to bring our young people home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It can be tempting to look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude our best option is to pack up and go home. That may be satisfying in the short run, but I believe the consequences for American security would be devastating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Senator Obama, you disagree with that. He says it would be devastating to leave now. You say no.

Why not?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I don’t know anybody who’s been talking about packing up and going home.

The clip below continues past the point where the transcript ends to show what the Economist doesn’t tell: that he clarified by saying we shouldn’t pack up and leave the region, especially Afghanistan. Then, a few minutes later, he said, “I think that there is room for providing logistical training, counter-terrorism support for Iraqis if they have met various benchmarks that would allow our — our assistance to be effective.” So what he really wants is some of our “young people” brought home at some point depending upon how cooperative the Iraqi government is. But that doesn’t make for much of a stump speech, which is why his comments in front of the crowd are a little less “nuanced” than the ones for Larry’s consumption.