Remind me, wasn’t it St. Barack himself, prince of peace, who threatened to go marching into the Pakistani tribal areas to clean out the jihadist sewer if Musharraf wouldn’t do it himself? And which unhinged neocon was it who said this just last month?

To help our forces recover from Iraq and prepare them to confront the full range of twenty-first-century threats, I will work to expand and modernize the military so that fighting wars no longer comes at the expense of deployments for long-term deterrence, military readiness, or responses to urgent needs at home.

Yes, there will be more confrontations with jihadists, hopefully more on the scale of the proxy Somalia/Ethiopia conflict last year than any sort of mass invasion. That’s all McCain’s saying, but HuffPo knows a good talking point when it sees one. So it’s duly flagged and ready for use in a scaremongering campaign ad, assuming Maverick makes it past Romney and advances to the general.

Do note one of his greatest strengths on display here, though. Not his hawkishness or his willingness to talk “straight” about it, but the extent to which the media — in the unlikely person of Mika Brzezinski, daughter of Jimmy Carter’s NSA — is willing to cut him the kind of slack that Bush would never, ever get. It’ll be a lot easier to defend the war on terror in the media with McCain as president. No small advantage.

Tags: Mitt Romney