Friday, November 11, 2005

It comes a bit late, but the White House is coming back off the ropes, and coming swinging.

First, Podhoretz gets in a little battlefield prep with this must-read Commentary essay.

It's also timed with Richard Miniter's book, Disinformation, which comes well-researched, with a whole bunch of Iraq-Al Qaeda and Iraq WMD ties.

President Bush took advantage of Veteran's Day with this right uppercut to the chin...

and via his usually useless press secretary, follows it up with a series of punches to the gut -- that is, to Senator Kennedy:

"It is regrettable that Senator Kennedy has chosen Veteran's Day to continue leveling baseless and false attacks that send the wrong signal to our troops and our enemy during a time of war. It is also regrettable that Senator Kennedy has found more time to say negative things about President Bush then he ever did about Saddam Hussein. If America were to follow Senator Kennedy's foreign policy, Saddam Hussein would not only still be in power, he would be oppressing and occupying Kuwait."

- Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary

The White House apparently intends to publicly and decisively devastate Kennedy's credibility on the measure, because they're not leaving it up to bloggers to do the research. Rather, McClellan is putting Kennedy's long track record right up on the White House web site.

Sen. Kennedy Said Saddam Hussein Was Developing WMDs: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." (Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Remarks At The Johns Hopkins School Of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C., 9/27/02)

Sen. Kennedy: "Saddam Hussein Is A Dangerous Figure. He's Got Dangerous Weapons." (CBS' "Face The Nation," 10/6/02)

Sen. Kennedy Now Says The President Manipulated Facts About Iraq's WMDs: "'Instead of providing open and honest answers about how we will achieve success in Iraq and allow our troops to begin to come home,' Kennedy said, 'the president reverted to the same manipulation of facts to justify a war we never should have fought.'" (Deb Riechmann, "Bush Forcefully Attacks Critics Of The War In Iraq," Associated Press, 11/11/05)

Sen. Kennedy Opposed Removing Saddam Hussein From Kuwait. (S.J.Res.2, CQ Vote #2: Adopted 52-47: R 42-2; D 10-45, 1/12/91, Kennedy Voted Nay)

Sen. Kennedy Opposed Removing Saddam Hussein From Power. (H. J. Res. 114, CQ Vote #237: Passed 77-23: R 48- 1; D 29-21; I 0-1, 10/11/02, Kennedy Voted Nay)

I hope the White House can sprout some killer instinct.

First of all, I'd can the press secretary and get someone else in there...someone meaner and leaner with a better image who's willing to mix it up with the media. Someone who's not afraid to counterpunch. Someone quick on his or her feet, or who brings his or her own gravitas to the position.

Keep it up, Mr. President. Make the case. Keep making the case. Bang your shoe on the table. Go to the mat with it. Seize the initiative and keep it. It will do wonders for your coalition, it will do wonders for troop morale in Iraq, and it will do wonders for Republicans seeking election in 06.

Lose the argument if you must. But to avoid it is shameful. There is nothing so good it doesn't have to be sold. So sell it. Because if you don't sell your story, the American public is going to buy something else, instead.

Keep it up, and keep putting the Democrats' prewar words out there, verbatim. No question should come up from the press pool without Kennedy's or Kerry's or Gore's or Clinton's words coming back at them. Force the press to ask them for an accounting. Put them on the spot. Be combative. The American people have followed you before. They'll follow you again. You're at your best when you're in a fight.

You're in a fight now, Mr. President.

Win it.

Put them on the mat.

Splash, out


I think Rumsfeld would be a terrific press secretary.

I think Jason Van Steenwyk would be a terrific press secretary.
So right! This is exactly what I have been saying. Bush needs to stop making excuses, stop whining about it being "hard" and tell the people what WE are going to do, how, why, and when. A part of a recent speech I heard on Veteran's day was a good example of the right approach. Hiding and keeping quiet will not do it. We elected him to lead, and he needs to get out there and do it. He has in the past, and I know he still can. He needs to kick ass, and defend himself. I think the old "the best defense is a good offense" approach needs to be applied here. That is what the liberals are killing him with. Yes, the press secretary has to be careful what he says, but he can’t let that fear totally silence him. An aggressive approach may expose him to some mistakes, but continuing strength will allow corrections to be made in a clear manner that can gain even more support if done right. Rummy is an example. He can turn the baiters’ questions back on them and quash them before they even get started.

"I think Rumsfeld would be a terrific press secretary."

Wouldn't that be a demotion?
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