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.