Bush Winning Hearts and Minds

If President Bush’s four speeches on the Iraq War have done nothing else, they have at least brought Andrew Sullivan back into his corner:

Something remarkable has been going on these past few weeks. The president has begun to be a real war-leader. He is conceding mistakes, he is preparing people for bad news, he is leveling with the American people, he is taking questions from audiences who aren’t pre-selected or rehearsed. Some of us have been begging him to do this for, er, years. Now that he is, his ratings are nudging up. The truth is: most Americans want to win in Iraq. They will back a president who is honest with them and dedicated to victory. And those of us who have been deeply critical of the war’s conduct thus far are fully prepared to back the only commander-in-chief we’ve got, if he’s honest with us, corrects mistakes, and has a sane plan for progress.

Indeed, these people just re-elected him last November. Whether it’s owing to bad advice from Karl Rove or natural predisposition, though, the president had adopted a bunker mentality about the war, refusing to admit that things weren’t going as well as planned. These speeches have at least gotten him out there talking with the public about the war.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    Andrew the Incontinental says:

    he is preparing people for bad news, he is leveling with the American people, he is taking questions from audiences who aren’t pre-selected or rehearsed. Some of us have been begging him to do this for, er, years. Now that he is, his ratings are nudging up. The truth is: most Americans want to win in Iraq. They will back a president who is honest with them and dedicated to victory.

    The fact is, he’s never been else. Perhaps your problem is like Murtha’s… you need more stroking?

  2. Dee says:

    The truth is there will never be victory in Iraq and I’d rather be told the truth than treated like a mentally handicapped person and lied to on such an important issue. The reason we will never win is because the Muslims believe this is a Holy war and so therefore when the Iraqi insurgents are exhausted or squelched by us then an endless stream of Muslims will pour in across the borders from the neighboring Muslim border countries and so there will always be a war between us and Iraq as long as we are there.

  3. Boyd says:

    Wow, all those millions and millions of Muslims around the world, and they’re all a monolithic block, thinking exactly the same thing.

    And the Iraqis are never going to lift a finger to protect their own country, eh, Dee?

    Your comments appear to stem from your BDS rather than any rational consideration, or, like, you know, actual facts.

  4. legion says:

    While I’ll give him some credit for beginning to finally face the issues, it’s still an enormous mess Bush has created, and I have no confidence he (or anyone in his administration) can clean it up.

  5. LJD says:

    The President is not guilty of lying. He has just not been very good at repelling the numerous attacks in the media. I wouldn’t degrade what he says just because of how the message is delivered. The truth is, there has not been one single war in history where everything went exactly as planned.

    So, let’s not condemn the Iraqis just yet, on the eve of this historic election. We will likely not know the future of Iraq until late spring or summer. We are making some great progess. There are problems. Our highly trained men and women are adapting to them. So let’s do our troops a favor and try to find some optimism here.

    If you still cant get over being mentally handicapped, check out a soldier’s perspective:

  6. LJD says: