Everyone's speculating, so here's mine. First, he was trying to associate himself positively with the military. McCain owns national defense (72 percent believe he's the CIC bomb) but generally struggles everywhere else. Perhaps team Obama figured it was worth the gamble if the tour could take a few chinks out of that armor and quiet McCain's criticism. At the same time it was a gamble they had to take because voters need to feel comfortable with the man holding the button, and right now they don't have warm fuzzies with Obama.
He probably also wanted to gain some control over the recent success in Iraq before it goes to McCain. His erroneous surge redeployment strategy figures to be a very difficult cat to walk backwards unless things return to worms. He needed some control of the message--no silly hat pictures--and the scripted nature of the first impact images was apparent enough to drop the jaw of at least one well-known journo. As soon as Terry Moran got an interview Obama immediately committed a gaffe, but the damage was done.
Finally, they got him as close to camouflage as humanly possible without him wearing it. As we know, every candidate must appear in camo at some point along the trail to win over the bitter clingers. Right now it's a bit too obvious but eventually they may try to slip him into a duck blind or deer stand if the race stays close. It's all about photo-ops.
But speaking of photo-ops, the irony of Moran framing his report in front of the Saddam swords brings to mind Barack's biggest card--the one that closed the deal--that he was the only candidate against the war from the start. It was a card Hillary just couldn't defend, even with the most banal lies and distortions, and even though a Democratic ticket with Hillary at the top and Obama second would have been unbeatable, almost ensuring DNC power for 12 to 16 years (not 8-10).
Of course nobody bothered to ask the man of diplomacy how it felt to be walking around Baghdad International without body armor, an airport whose name would still be Saddam Intl had we followed his 2002 advice.
And nobody asked him whether he'd consider meeting, without pre-conditions, one of the biggest leaders of the Baath-al Qaeda insurgency and number one man on Iraq' Most Wanted 41, Izzat al-Duri, who recently proclaimed:
Addouri sounded definitely confident of victory and reiterated that the U.S. -led occupation has already been defeated, and "in despair is looking for an exit." The resistance "has destroyed the alliance of evil, the parties of which are escaping one after another.But never mind, how about that shot he dropped from 20 feet (or was it 35 feet)? It was almost a swish.