By JONATHAN WEISMAN AND ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON
Sunday, September 9, 2007
June 28, 2007:
"In the aftermath of the election, there was a clear message conveyed by the American people. They simply oppose the direction we've taken in Iraq."
However, regarding Democratic timelines for withdrawal: "I don't want to specify a date certain. That has to be obscured, so we don't send the wrong message to the enemy."
July 12, 2007:
Snowe reverses course and announces her support for Democratic legislation with timelines for the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces.
"What better way to send a very strong message and a signal about our true intentions for the future, to let them know that we mean it?"
Sept. 6, 2007:
After studying the conclusions of a Government Accountability Office progress report that she helped commission, Snowe declares of the Iraqi government: "They have failed to come to grips with what kind of a country they want to become in the future. . . . If the whole purpose of the surge was to create that window of opportunity for political reconciliation, the Iraqi government has failed."
Awaiting the general:
"Everybody's in a holding pattern. Nobody wants to be preemptive or premature in judging the outcome of that testimony. . . . But change is in the offing, without question. What form and shape that takes remains to be seen, but you're going to see a reduction in forces, and you will see a change in mission."