Jonathan Martin has a good insight here:
The two front-runners talked Iraq for recent mag profiles and suggested what they would have done differently in their own unique ways.
For Rudy, as revealed in a long New Yorker piece, it’s accountability and stats.
Citing Colin Powell’s “Pottery Barn” warning — if you break it, you own it — he said that the United States should have had a clearly defined method of measuring success going into the war, something like a wartime version of his Compstat program of tracking crime in New York. “An Iraqstat program would have alerted us to the fact that we weren’t bringing the society back to stability fast enough,” he said. “When you see those statistics, maybe it says to you, We shouldn’t have sent all the civil servants home. Maybe we shouldn’t have de-Baathified completely. Now we don’t have anybody running the post offices, and we don’t have anybody running the schools, we don’t have anybody running the sanitation facility. But if you kept track of those things and you saw them getting worse, and your goal was to make them better, you would then go do the things to make them better.”
Romney is a data guy, too. But the CEO also wants dissonant voices around him battling it out in a Team of Rivals style, he makes clear to Matt Cooper in Portfolio.
“I think if you’d had General [Anthony] Zinni” — a war critic — “around the table arguing, it would have made a difference,” Romney tells me. “He’d have said if we’re able to topple Saddam quickly, [we] may end up in a sectarian war.”
Governor Romney isn’t agreeing with Zinni; he’s saying the president should hear a wide variety of views before making a decision. I agree.