Nothing illustrates the problem with second terms better than the President's teleconference with US troops in Iraq that was broadcast yesterday. It was horrendous. Both Bush and the troops were ill at ease, a time lag in transmission meant that people would start a statement and then have to start all over again, garbling their words. The whole thing was obviously scripted, which works well with professional actors, but not with real human beings. Clearly whoever put this thing together has no sense of how to conduct public relations -- something that the first term was good at. Savvy political people or organizational whizzes like Karen Hughes or Harriet Miers have moved up and out to bigger and [hopefully] better things. Others, like Karl Rove, have come under fire and are distracted by political and legal attacks. Rather than coordinating the thing effectively, the White House staff seems to have just turned it over to the military, and they, as always, were completely tone deaf. Nobody on Pennsylvania Avenue seems to be able to take charge and oversee things effectively, and the President suffers for it. He looked like a fool, and a duplicitous one at that.
Read the AP story here.
Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa!!!
Apparently the event wasn't scripted as I and a lot of the media assumed. The troops themselves practiced what they wanted to say so they wouldn't freeze on camera and their words reflected their authentic experiences and understandings, not some White House script.
Read this from one of the participants. [Sgt. Ron Long]
President Bush told us, during his closing, that the American people were behind us. I know that we are fighting here, not only to preserve our own freedoms, but to establish those same freedoms for the people of Iraq. It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers. They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are tearing the country apart. Worthless!
The question I was most asked while I was home on leave in June was, "So...What's REALLY going on over there?" Does that not tell you something?! Who has confidence in the media to tell the WHOLE STORY? It's like they WANT this to turn into another Vietnam. I hate to break it to them, but it's not.
Tomorrow morning, the Iraqi people will vote on their constitution. The success of our mission or the mission of the Iraqi security forces is not defined by the outcome of that vote. If the people of Iraq vote this constitution down, that only means that the FREE, DEMOCRATIC PROCESS is at work in Iraq. They are learning to voice their opinions in the polling stations, not through violence. If it is voted down, they will have the chance to draft an even better version; One that may better serve the people of Iraq. This is up to them. It is history in the making and I will not let the media or anyone else (who has not spent more than two weeks here) tell me otherwise. I have been here for almost a year. I have seen the progress made in so many ways from January's elections to this referendum. Don't tell me what the Iraqi people can or can't do. They will tell you with their VOTES!Read it here.
My sincere apologies, Sgt. and best wishes to you and all the brave men and women who are fighting to liberate the people of the Middle East. I should have known that you would not be a party to the kind of duplicity alleged by the MSM.
Michelle Malkin is all over this. Check out her comments here.