Pulling an all-nighter for the next nine months
Rod Dreher makes me laugh with this comment:
I think Bush has a knockout case for the Iraq war, and his handling of the war on terror. I also know that quite a few people disagree with me. Bush, of all people, should be able to make the case powerfully. If he can’t, that telegraphs to people confusion and a lack of confidence in the case, I think. This stuff matters. And because I thoroughly agree with you, John, that the war on terror is the only thing that really matters this fall, I urgently want the president and his team to master this stuff before the Democratic attack machine, aided and abetted by the anti-Bush media, get cranked up. There’s far too much at risk here.
In other words, Bush’s credibility has tanked and he can’t get away with just saying “Because I’m the President and I wanted to”. The best comment I read (possibly over at Kos) was that, on MTP, George W looked like a kid giving an oral book report on a book he obviously hadn’t read. Now he actually has to do some heavy lifting and back up his actions with facts, at a time when his “facts” are no longer operative. Which means that he can’t just give the same “terra terra terra” boilerplate speech that he’s been serving up at military bases and $5000 a plate dinners. His only alternative is more sit-downs with friendly journalists and scoring big during the debates. But as Dreher points out earlier in his post:
In the end (Deo gratias) his lack of forensic skill didn’t matter in his debate showdowns with Gore, a fact for which we are profoundly grateful. Still, don’t forget that Gore lost those debates not because Bush beat him, but because he didn’t knock Bush out like everybody expected. That, and becuase Gore’s arrogant manner reinforced the suspicion many people had that he is a smarty-pants know-it-all. In other words, Gore beat himself — and still, he managed to win the popular vote.
Looking more and more like his father, Bush could seal his fate at the debates. (Remember his dad looking at his watch during the debate with Clinton?)
I’m going to go on record as saying that the 2004 Presidential Debates will set viewership records. I think they’re going be nasty.
As they say: Pass the popcorn…