As commander in chief of the Colorado National Guard, Ritter said he wanted to find out firsthand how Guard members were handling deployment.The reality of the dramatic turnaround in Iraq is undeniable, and it's good to see our governor coming around to acknowledging this obvious development.
"They are under my command essentially," said Ritter, who doesn't have a military background. "It is extremely helpful to me to see this on the ground."
Ritter made no call for bringing Colorado Guard members home sooner.
"The Guard members have not asked me to do that," he said. "As long as they are not asking me to do that, I'm not going to advocate differently."
Air Guard troops are typically sent overseas for 60 to 90 days, while Army Guard troops could end up staying in Iraq or Kuwait 15 months, he said.
"We'd all like to see it less," Ritter said.
And the governor did not advocate changing the current strategy in Iraq.
"It is important to understand that there is hope that it's moving in the right direction," he said. "American troops will be in Iraq for a very long time."
But the good news for America is bad news for Ritter's Democratic Party overall. What will the rabid anti-war fanatics do in 2008 when the convention comes to Denver and they need to support a presidential candidate who can't so easily pander to them any more?
While Ritter has aligned himself to Big Labor through backroom deals, it appears he won't give the anti-war crowd more than the bone of hedging to say that Iraq progress offers but a "glimmer of hope." This same crowd will have to ask itself why someone like Ritter has acknowledged our military coalition's tremendous progress in Iraq: because it's true or merely a matter of political expedience? What do they think?