During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama earned the G.O.P.'s mockery. Now he has earned their fear. It is an ambiguous feat, accomplished by going to the dark side, by walking the G.O.P.'s talk, by becoming the man Dick Cheney fashioned himself to be.
Tom again: But if Obama truly possessed the killer instinct, why is VP Biden still on the ticket? I think dumping him likely would have added one point to Obama's vote in November. And that could mean a lot.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.