Is this, in some part, media criticism on the New York Times op-ed page? In today’s column Thomas Friedman writes:

“What we do next in Iraq— and how and why— is barely getting discussed in the presidential campaign,” and “navigating these conflicting moods and trends on the ground in Iraq is going to be one of the most excrutiatingly difficult challenges ever handed from one president to another. It might be useful to start talking about it.”

Seems like a good idea. A bottleneck: the candidates would rather not talk too frequently or too specifically about this, and the people who can prompt (or try to) more discussion have their hands full asking, for example, (in keeping with The Media Hangup of This Week), Michelle Obama “to consider her complicated public image” for the front page of the Times (because in Mrs. Obama’s “commanding cadences, some people — not just conservatives — hear a lecture”). As ever, both the candidates and the campaign press prefer to consider how they’re going to get there (and whose outfit or outburst might prevent that) than what they’ll do once they’ve arrived.



Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.