Kornblut’s report is, to my mind at least, the best of this morning’s coverage. And it offers a much more damning exposé of the political nature of the speech than is offered by a survey of Republican responses. It looks grimly to the future as well:

The speech came at a seemingly arbitrary moment, on a deadline set by Obama himself and unrelated to any progress on the ground in Iraq, where a government has not been formed and deadly violence shatters daily life. While the war removed a dictator, it left civil society in tatters; electricity is still sporadic, even in Baghdad.

Interestingly, Kornblut’s was one of just a few pieces today to lead with something other than the shift in focus from Iraq to the economy we saw above. She opens with this:

Saying it is “time to turn the page” on one of the most divisive chapters in American history, President Obama declared the U.S. war in Iraq over Tuesday night, telling the nation that he was fulfilling his campaign pledge to stop a war he had opposed from the start.

It’s a taut start to a piece heavy on history, context, and accountability. Kornblut is in no rush to move on to the next issue, even if the president might be.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.