Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bush is Learning

Bush held a meeting today concerning Iraq with several former secretaries of state and defense from both sides of the aisle. This was certainly a very important component to his offensive to regain public support for the war in Iraq and his plan for success. Showing his willingness to reach out beyond party lines and listen to some very astute and accomplished individuals was a very smart move on his part.

Bush is learning how to fight the public opinion war and learning fast. Not only has he learned how to do it but he is doing a fantastic job. This is evidenced by a slow but gradual reversal of poll numbers. This move is certainly contradictory to the perceived notion by those on the left that the President is in some sort of a bubble. Of course most of us already know that this is an ill conceived perception because Bush has reached across party lines in the past only to be burned.

Most on the left will dismiss this as a photo op or a propaganda stunt by the President and his Administration. In a small way maybe it was. Even some on the right will remain unimpressed by this meeting. Nevertheless, it was a great move. Political stunt or not it must pain the left severely to hear former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright praise Bush for holding such a meeting and to then state that while he did not agree with her he was very gracious and showed respect.

Most painful for the left has to be the message shared with reporters after the meeting. Even those that were opposed to the war agreed that now that we are there, we need to get the job done right. They also agreed that the military not politicians in Washington should determine the time and quantity of troop reductions. Of course, I am sure that there were some dissenting views in the room about how to achieve final victory in Iraq. However, to have a group of people of this stature more or less echo what Bush has been saying all along is not only a painful blow to the left but should be another shot in the arm to public support for Bush's strategy.
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