The New Spin Forward: Political Theater and the President's Speech
For all the hype it wasn't much of a speech. For the price of a full half hour of reserved time on the major networks we got a brief history lesson, some fairly obvious statistics, and a Presidential confirmation that Mr Bush is, in fact, going to defy the will of the American people and send 20,000 more Americans into harms way.
But we already knew that.
That's the short version. It took me 81 words to say it (including these). It took President Bush 2,903.
The President used the other 2,822 words to spin the Surge, mostly in a largely failed attempt to spin his incessant refusal to listen to reason, public opinion, and expert advice into some sort of dynamism.
The die is cast. More troops are going to Iraq whether Nancy Pelosi likes it or not and, barring the politically suicidal gesture of cutting funding to the war, John Q. Public is going to blame the White House; so President Bush needs to convince America otherwise.
Which was the point of the speech - really.
Though the President's detractors might argue it far saner to simply abandon the failed strategy in Iraq rather than attempting to simultaneously eulogize and repackage the old one, the White House speech writing team have admirably attacked the problem of a Presidential Psychosis.
The spin comes from both sides in this most recent speech and it really is masterfully crafted, if not delivered.