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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

 
Closing Out Of Town

by digby


It looks like Bush has finished his walk-on performance in the Katrina pageant and is moving directly into his next project, "They're Comin' Tah Gitya! Part VXIII"

So far the critics aren't impressed. From CNN:

QUESTION: So do you think your new series of speeches are going to have an impact on midterm elections?

BUSH: My series of speeches are -- they're not political speeches. They're speeches about the future of this country, and they are speeches to make it clear that if we retreat before the job is done, this nation will become even more in jeopardy. These are important times.

And I would seriously hope people wouldn't politicize the issues that I'm going to talk about. We have a duty in this country to defeat terrorists. That's why we'll stay on the offense to bring them to justice before they hurt us, and that's why I work to spread liberty in order to keep the peace. Anyway, thank you all.

PHILLIPS: That was the president in Little Rock. He's now on his way to Nashville, Tennessee. That's where our White House correspondent Ed Henry is.

Ed, he has got these series of speeches talking about the war on terror, capabilities of al Qaeda, and what the administration has done to protect the nation but he's saying these are not political speeches.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, very interesting. The White House confirming today that the president will have a new series of speeches, as you're noting. He will start it tomorrow at the American Legion, and will go right through September 19th when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly.

Does this sound familiar, a series of speeches from the president? It should. He's done at least three of these series. And I think this is a tacit acknowledgement by the White House that it really has not sold so far, and that's why he's taking yet another crack at it.

As far as the president's claiming he does not want this to get political, that's hard to believe at this point, obviously, given the fact that Democrats today are very upset with the comments yesterday from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, basically suggesting that critics of the White House war strategy are similar to those who were calling for appeasement that sparked Naziism back in the 1930s and '40s. That's gotten Democrats pretty hot today.

And it's interesting given that last week the president said that he's not questioning anyone's patriotism when they criticize his war strategy. Then you hear that from Secretary Rumsfeld.

What we're hearing from the White House is that the president is going to focus on broader themes about the struggle between freedom and tyranny. It certainly sounds like a two-prong strategy. The president putting out these larger, more flowery themes whereas some of his key officials like Secretary Rumsfeld really employing that hardball strategy, Kyra.


The previews don't look so good. The press is all over Rumsfeld's statements. Ken Mehlman on Hardball just about had a full-on meltdown under the withering questioning of Norah O'Donnell, of all people, who kept referring to Rumsfeld's speech as calling the Democrats "Nazi-era appeasers." (Evan Thomas even looked up from his snuff box, rearranged his lace cravat and intoned "it does have a whiff of desperation about it, what, what?") Victoria Clark on The Situation Room twice raised her voice above a whisper and appeared to have a pulse under a grilling by the robot named John King.

Maybe it's time for a rewrite. Or better yet, just close this turkey out of town.



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