June 25, 2011 5:49PM

Where Is Barack Obama Now That We Need Him?

Back in the day (February 2008), a senator named Barack Obama said, “I opposed this [Iraq] war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009. It is time to bring our troops home.”

The following month, under fire from Hillary Clinton, he reiterated, ”I was opposed to this war in 2002.… I have been against it in 2002, 2003, 2004, 5, 6, 7, 8 and I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don’t be confused.”

Indeed, in his famous “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow” speech on the night he clinched the Democratic nomination, he also proclaimed, “I am absolutely certain that generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that … this was the moment when we ended a war.”

So now the Congressional Budget Office looks at the plans of President Barack Obama and reports:

In 2010, the number of U.S. troops (active‐​duty, reserves, and National Guard personnel) deployed for war‐​related activities averaged about 215,000, CBO estimates. In the alternative scenario presented here, the number of military personnel deployed for war‐​related purposes would decline over a five‐​year period to an average of 180,000 in 2011, 130,000 in 2012, 100,000 in 2013, 65,000 in 2014, and 45,000 in 2015 and thereafter.

That would indeed be an improvement. But it just doesn’t seem like “I will bring this war to an end in 2009 [and] bring our troops home.”

(H/T [on the CBO quote, not the despairing memory of the original Obama]: Ezra Klein)

Update: In the Sunday Washington Post, David Fahrenthold found some more differences between Senator Obama and President Obama on the debt limit, judicial nominations, and war powers.