So, the echo effect I was looking for was sort of there but it got a bit strange. It was not a person that got the bashing, it was MoveOn.org and it wasn't exactly McCain out in front of that. Then we had two days of Guliani bashing Democrats. What?
But here we are in October and suddenly there is news that September, the fourth straight month during which violence in Iraq has dropped, is the lowest month for violence in over a year. Will McCain make this his moment?
The theory is, that any candidate that can get out in front of these positive reports can gain the political capital from them. Its a gambit for sure, but the way to do it, is to viciously attack anyone who is not willing to be even more hawkish than the president*. Then get Petreus and Bush to help with triple tag team action. If good reports follow you not only claim the political capital, you multiply it.
(*hawkish on a technicality, in the sense that the president is actually in favor of a withdrawal and will commence at least a limited withdrawal in 2008. Nonetheless, you could ask all the candidates to commit to no withdrawal, or no surrender, depending on your preference, and attack them if they refuse.)
If there is such a thing as the right wing version of the anti-war activists, ie. the pro-honor activists, McCain can claim these supporters. They may even become as fanatical as the anti-war activists if you whip them up about the Dems allowing us to choose to lose. Then, as the strategy in Iraq is succesful, you get the moderates.