Monday, February 09, 2004

Re: Meet the Press

I watched the entire interview and think that President Bush put on a good performance. Not taking substance into account (which is not hard to do, as there wasn't much there to begin with), he appeared confident and comfortable, seeming unsure of himself at only one point--Russert asked whether Iraq was a war of choice or necessity, and Bush froze for a moment or two. Once he figured out what the "right" answer was, however, he was back on solid ground. Apparently Karl didn't prep him for that one. Oops.

I don't think "errs" and "umms" are viewed negatively if said with confidence. I know it sounds silly but the "rough" speaking style in my opinion adds to his "populist" image. Besides, the way he plays it any "gaffs" are the fault of tough and unfair questions by the media and not his fault. I offer the following exchange as an example:

Russert: You do seem to have changed your mind from the 2000 campaign. In a debate, you said, "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called 'nation-building.'"

President Bush: Yes.

Russert: We clearly are involved in nation building.

President Bush: Right. And I also said let me put it in context. I'm not suggesting you're pulling one of these Washington tricks where you leave half the equation out.

But I did say also that our troops must be trained and prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, make peace more possible. And our troops were trained to fight and win war, and we did, and a second phase of the war is now going on. The first phase, of course, was the Tommy Franks troop movement.

Russert: But this is nation building.

President Bush: Well, it is. That's right, but we're also fighting a war so that they can build a nation.

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