Liveblogging Bush

I’ll be liveblogging the President’s speech tonight, as the President addresses the nation on the war in Iraq and the results of the recent Iraqi elections. I think the President needs to remind the people that the people of Iraq deserve freedom, that the war in Iraq is key to the war in terrorism, and that a withdrawal from Iraq would be tantamount to surrender in this war. I think Bush knows that the Democratic position of either muddled support or withdrawal is unpalatable to the American people, we are not a country to walk away from a fight, especially when al-Qaeda has chosen Iraq as their key battlefield as well as ours.

The media will naturally keep up their defeatist line, but their power is diminishing, and the American people don’t trust the media. The military, on the other hand, is the most trusted institution in American society. (This is according to the latest Kennedy Center poll.) Given the choice of trusting a blowdried blowhard and a person who spend all their time experiencing the reality of life in Iraq, it’s a no-brainer as to which one the American people will trust.

We’ll see how well the President does in about 10 minutes…

8:00PM CST: President Bush is speaking from the Oval Office. This is the first national address he has given there since his announcement of combat operations against the Hussein regime in Iraq.

Bush speaks directly about the WMD issue. The whole “Bush lied” argument is incoherent and ridiculous – and I wish the President was more forceful on that point.

8:05PM CST: Bush lays out his vision of the enemy – which is right. But it would be helpful to use the words of the terrorists against them. Bin Laden, Qutb, and the rest of the ideological leaders of the movement spoke clearly that they really do hate our freedom, and that their war is not about terroritory, but about domination. They divide the world into the House of Submission and the House of War, and they will not stop until they have subjugated the world.

8:08PM CST: Bush speaks directly to the critics of this war. This war is not lost, and it is idiotic to argue that we have. We are winning, and the elections in Iraq are clear and obvious proof of that.

8:10PM CST: Polls have shown that the American public thinks that Bush doesn’t have a plan for victory in Iraq. While polling is always dubious, it is good that Bush is mentioning the concept that we have a plan that combines a military, political, and social strategy for victory. The elections in Iraq have been a momentous event in the history of the Middle East, and the President is right to remind the American people of its significance.

Just a thought: it would have been interesting if Bush had spoken with a purple finger…

8:12PM CST: Bush is speaking of the defeatism of the Democrats – and it’s about damn time. He needs to call them out – do they think we really cannot win? That al-Qaeda is simply too strong and too determined for us?

Bush lays it straight – we cannot afford failure in Iraq. The American people understand this. I think that the Democrats defeatism are hurting them – the poll numbers have shown better numbers for Bush and the war as of late.

8:15PM CST: Bush is calling for patience in this war. He’s right – victory is more important than partisanship. The Democrats have placed partisanship over principle, and that is why the Democrats simply cannot be trusted on this war. I know the Democrats don’t care, and their hatred is boundless, but the President needs to remind us of the value of victory.

8:17PM CST: Bush is coming across as honest and full of conviction here. This isn’t a great speech, and Bush is no Churchill, but there’s no doubt that he is not the world’s gratest orator, but his speech was very well done.

POST SPEECH REACTION: This was a good speech. Not great, but the President’s greatest oratorical strength is in the strength of his convictions. The themes the President mentioned were important, and Mort Kondracke says this is similar to a “fireside chat” – and that’s true. The President did acknowledge that we’ve made mistakes, that this is a long war, and that we’re not finished yet. Those were all themes that Bush has needed to hit.

Bush came across exactly as he should – as someone who is acting as a leader. The President hasn’t spoken direcly spoken to the American people in a long time on Iraq, and he needs to. When he doesn, it instantly exposes the attacks on him for what they are – baseless and full of hatred. Bush has had to make some tough decisions, and he came across as more humble than he has, which was something we really haven’t seen before.

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