My pal Dan Clifton over at the Strategas Group anticipates the Iraq war turning from a foreign policy issue to a budgetary issue:
The key theme for Obama will be to bring the troops home.... Obama will make this case and claim he can use the money from troop withdrawal to fund domestic programs. However, this strategy will ultimately be determined by current events. If security related developments occur, McCain can fire back that Obama is cutting and running (i.e. soft on defense and security related issues).... The next president will determine the direction of the Iraq war and thus the future growth of defense spending moving forward. Since '01 the federal government has spent a total of $752 bn on the war, and war costs now represent 30 pct of the defense budget.
My take: A big part of the balanced-budget story in the 1990s was the big cut in defense spending. Will the Democrats play that card again despite the ongoing global war on terrorism?