The Great Push Back

THE GREAT PUSH BACK….Jack O’Toole, responding to the new White House PR juggernaut on Iraq ? everything is great, there are no problems, and everyone is getting along fine ? has this to say:

Here’s a quick prediction that’s undoubtedly worth every penny you’re paying for it: By January of next year, just about every GOP smart guy who doesn’t collect his paycheck at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. will be calling this whole push back strategy an ill-conceived PR disaster, and at least privately questioning whether George Bush’s political team is really the right one to lead their party into the 2004 elections.

Now, I might have disagreed with Jack about this. Sure, the media would see it for what it was, but a rock-em-sock-em approach could end up playing pretty well with the hometown crowds. Shows leadership, you know.

Except for one one thing: who was the idiot who admitted that the whole campaign was a PR offensive? Whoever it was, they should be hogtied, publicly humiliated, and banned for life from the PR community. Jeez, guys, you’re supposed to at least pretend that your boss is showing heroic leadership.

So, anyway, Jack is right, and in a few months this is probably going to be right up there with the carrier landing in the annals of things that seemed like a good idea at the time. Confidence is a fine thing, but sounding like Pollyanna can make you look mighty detached from reality the first time there’s some real trouble. It’s a fine line, and I suspect the Bushies are on the wrong side of it.

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation