Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Personal thoughts on Bush's press conference

Old Post: I live-blogged Bush's press conference last night in the post below.

Well, I live blogged it, but that was mostly just the facts. What did I think of it? I wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be. As much as I might wish it, Bush is just never going to be very articulate. (Fortunately for him, Kerry comes across as worse. He doesn't mangle his words, but he can't give a straight answer to save his life.) The President's opening speech was good, emphasizing that the June 30th date will hold firm and that our commitment to Iraq remains strong and will remain strong well past the turnover date (we'll probably continue operations for a year or so, and keep bases there for on the order of a decade). When it came to answering questions, I wish he had done better. In the immediate aftermath I was disappointed with his answers, but having had a day to think about it, I think I was more disappointed with the reporters. That sort of passive-agressive "Why won't you just admit you're a miserable failure?" questioning made them look much worse than it did Bush, even if I don't think he came off so well either. The answer to why Bush won't admit to his mistakes can be found here. Bush's ideas, and mine, about his mistakes are not the same as the press's. They want him to admit he shouldn't have gone to Iraq, while I think his only mistake was basing his reasoning on WMDs to win over Tony Blair and the UN. You don't need WMDs to make the argument, as I (and many others) have shown. Yet that answer would surely just infuriate the press, so why bother? On the other hand, maybe that's plenty of reason to do so. Enough with what the press thinks, or the Democrats, he should just say what he's thinking.

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