BIG WIN FOR BUSH
Howard Fineman says President Bush continues to take big risks and win big:
IÃ¢€™ll focus on what I know, which is this: itÃ¢€™s George W. Bush, in a sense, who toppled that statue. The guy doesnÃ¢€™t play small ball; he goes for the Big InningÃ¢€”and doesnÃ¢€™t waver. Bush is what IÃ¢€™d call a disciplined radical, pursuing sweeping aims with an almost blinkered determination. At least for nowÃ¢€”since September 11, 2001Ã¢€”itÃ¢€™s working. A month ago I wrote in this space that never had so much blood and treasure been risked on the hope that people would smile. Well, watch MSNBC. There they are.
The last three weeks of the Big Inning Presidency have been a roller-coaster of emotion in the cable-TV green rooms of the commentariat. The war went from Ã¢€œcakewalkÃ¢€ to Ã¢€œquagmireÃ¢€ and back again in the eyes of retired generals and other experts second-guessing every move in every way. On Day 13, one very senior retired general privately had me convinced that Tommy Franks was a fool and that disastrously thin American forces would be butchered wholesale in Baghdad. Nonmilitary types, from Hollywood to the Hill, tauntingly wondered where the Happy Iraqis wereÃ¢€”the locals Bush believed would celebrate in the streets.
Throughout this dark time I nagged my White House sources, trying to glean what little I could about the presidentÃ¢€”his mood, his orders, state of mind. A few outsiders not in position to know (and who loathe his war policy for various reasons) spread word that he had grown snappish and weary. I think they were wrong. My sense is that he burrowed deeper into himself (and ran extra miles on the treadmill), steadily monitoring the war but never losing faith (or sleep) about his momentous decision to take out Saddam with a U.S.-U.K. coalition.
Fineman positively gushes over Bush’s leadership style, although worries that his propensity to take risks could backfire at some point.
(Hat tip: PoliBlogger)