Mr. Bush Unvarnished
PRESIDENT BUSH should hold more news conferences. In his hour-long exchange with reporters at the White House yesterday, he was considerably more effective in explaining and defending his commitment to the war in Iraq than in the three carefully worded speeches he has delivered in the past week. In his sometimes blunt, sometimes joking and sometimes unpolished way, he sounded authentic -- no more so than when he was asked what had become of the "political capital" he claimed after the 2004 election. "I'd say I'm spending that capital on the war," Mr. Bush replied.Now they must have listened to a different press conference than I did. All I heard was the same mindless delusion Mr. Robinson was talking about.
Mr. Bush, however, hasn't lost sight of the stakes. "The enemy has said that it's just a matter of time before the United States loses its nerve and withdraws from Iraq. That is what they have said," he told reporters. "And their objective for driving us out of Iraq is to have a place from which to launch their campaign to overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East, as well as to continue attacking places like the United States. Now, maybe some discount those words as kind of meaningless propaganda. I don't. I take them really seriously."
As Joe Gandelman said the Republicans up for election in November can't be too pleased even if the Washington Post was.
What Bush essentially did during the press conference was to reaffirm his faith in the U.S. course, say he's not going to significantly change it and that it's up to a future President to do that. This likely won't be welcome news to Republicans because now, Americans who are either militantly against the war, troubled by it, or frustrated over the execution of it may feel that, since Bush has essentially rejected any compromise with the critics who now are now dotting diverse parts of the political spectrum, the only way to get a change is....change. Perhaps starting in November....That's right, another "you're doing a heck of a job Rummy" moment.