The morning storyline, of course, is that Bush is changing course and doing the things his critics have wanted him to do all along ? but denying that he’s doing any such thing. And it makes me wonder why he didn’t just include a line something like this in his speech:
We always knew this was going to be a long, hard campaign, but the fact is that it’s turned out to be even longer and harder than we anticipated. That was a mistake, but it’s one we’re determined to correct, because this job is too important blah blah blah….
This sort of thing wouldn’t cost him anything with his base, and it would basically shut up most of his liberal critics. How can you slam him for changing course if he’s admitted he’s changing course and is promising to fix his mistakes? You’re almost forced to rally around the guy.
A more conciliatory tone toward Europe would have helped too. After all, it really doesn’t cost anything. Unfortunately, this kind of thing just doesn’t seem to be part of W’s give-no-quarter personality, and that’s going to cost him.
On a less substantive note, although the text of the speech wasn’t too bad, the one thing I can’t get over is the vacant look in his eyes whenever he gives one of these addresses. I swear he looks like the Manuchurian candidate when he does these things. Can’t they spare a few bucks from the White House press budget to hire a speaking coach for him?