One possible downside to Barack Obama's high-profile trip was that a flub would raise more questions about his readiness on foreign policy. But it appears that the far more experienced John McCain made the first verbal mistake.
On all three network morning shows today to attack Obama for opposing the so-called surge of troops to Iraq -- where the Democrat just landed this morning -- McCain appeared to confuse Iraq and Afghanistan.
Asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" about the situation in Afghanistan -- where both presidential candidates call for sending more US troops to take on the resurgent Taliban and root out al Qaeda, McCain replied.
"I think it's serious. . . . It's a serious situation, but there's a lot of things we need to do. We have a lot of work to do and I'm afraid it's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq/Pakistan border."
Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border; it is the Afghanistan/Pakistan border where intelligence officials believe remnants of al Qaeda are rebuilding.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.