WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. presidential contenders, no matter how steadfast their Iraq positions have been, may have to adjust once elected commander in chief, observers say.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's promise to end the war may be tempered by what it will mean if U.S. troops are withdrawn from Iraq precipitously.
Likewise, John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, may have his pledge to see the war through to U.S. victory tempered by a war-weary electorate.
"Anything can always change because you have to deal with the situation when you inherit it," said Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, a retired rear admiral and a Clinton supporter.
Susan Rice, an Obama adviser, said this month that troop withdrawals would have to be with consideration to "circumstances on the ground."
For McCain, the newspaper said political progress or an increase in violence would force the Arizona senator to be more specific about what it means to win the war.
"No one would be so stupid to come into office, see what the situation is, and then do the wrong thing," said Fred Kagan, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.