The First Draft: the other war

August 20, 2009

Washington is watching the election in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama, who has ordered a troop build-up to fight the Taliban, is almost certainly  keeping a close eye on the election which brought millions of voters to the polls across Afghanistan despite threats of violence. It remains to be seen whether the president will be picked in one round. AFGHANISTAN-ELECTION/

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who voted at a school near his palace in Kabul, faces a strong challenge from former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and must win more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a second round. Not easy when  there are about 30 challengers.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 51 percent of Americans see the war in Afghanistan as not worth fighting, that’s up 6 percentage points from last month.

In the political war on healthcare reform, David Ignatius writes in The Washington Post that perhaps  Obama should roll out the medical equivalent of General David Petraeus to unite the country around his strategy.

Who do you believe could be a uniting force on healthcare?

In the meantime, Obama continues to pitch his proposal to both ends of the political spectrum. The president appears on Conservative radio host Michael Smerconish’s program at 1:10 p.m. and then holds a healthcare forum at Democratic National Committee headquarters at 2:45 p.m.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Caren Firouz (Woman walks out of cardboard voting booth in Afghanistan)

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