Wednesday, March 22, 2006


When a non-Bush partisan like David Adesnik comes away at least somewhat impressed with the President's efforts at defending his Iraq policy, it may very well be an indication that the country at large is willing to listen to such a defense and be persuaded by it if it is given with passion, with reason, loudly and often.

I have said before and will say again that I am utterly puzzled by the White House's inability and/or unwillingness to take the issue of defending its Iraq policy and make it into a full time job. I have said before and will say again that I am utterly puzzled that no one in the White House appears to have decided that the President should give this kind of stump speech until the ears of his audience bleed from the repeated telling of it. That is how to ensure the successful transmission of a political message, after all. Instead, the White House seems content to wait until all and sundry is nearly rendered out of control regarding the political system before it gets the ball rolling on the issue of defending its policies.

From a purely political standpoint, this will not do. It is a failure of political savvy and as far as those who want to see a successful reconstruction effort in Iraq are concerned, it is a failure of leadership. If people on the White House staff are not properly doing their jobs and realizing that they need to make the delivery of such full-throated and passionate defenses a full time job, then they need to be replaced. And if the President of the United States has not yet come to the conclusion that he needs to give the kinds of speeches that at least partially impress David Adesnik more often, then someone needs to give him a stern talking-to about the political tin ear he suddenly seems to have developed.

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