Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bush's Public Relations Team Working Overtime

Bush's speechwriters, consultants, political gurus and pollsters are working overtime to gloss over a badly damaged presidency that has suffered a long series of self-inflicted blunders, false starts and broken promises—hey, shouldn't we have a mission on the way to Mars or hydrogen cars by now?—those are items we heard in previous speeches by Bush and of course they didn't go far, even with a Republican-controlled Congress no less.

Now Bush's speechwriters are letting us know that the Strutter-in-Chief has 'earned' yet another nickname: the editor-in-chief. Okay. If they say so. Then again, I would agree Bush spends considerable time rewriting his history.

On Tuesday, it would be an extraordinary act of courage and integrity if President George W. Bush would simply admit that he has no real idea what he's doing. His recent speech on Iraq, however, leaves little doubt that we will be hearing more of the same. The major problems facing our nation will continue to remain largely unaddressed by the White House (the one consolation on Tuesday is that Senator Webb of Virginia will be giving the Democratic response). Here's the story by Cheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times:
Most Americans think of President Bush as the commander in chief. His speechwriters have another name for him: the editor in chief.

(snip)

The address on Tuesday comes 13 days after Mr. Bush’s prime-time speech on his new strategy in Iraq, one that even some Republicans have criticized as uninspiring, a rhetorical dud.

(snip)

This year, the president told his speechwriters that he wanted a more thematic speech, one that would focus on a few core issues, like energy, immigration and health care, where Mr. Bush hopes to achieve compromise with the Democrats.

I have two themes the president should think about for his speech: humility, and being straight with the American people.

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