WaPo reported President Bush flew here ahead of Hurricane Rita on Friday to show command of a federal disaster response effort that even supporters acknowledge he fumbled three weeks ago.
The Federal response in New Orleans to Katrina may have not been as much as everyone would have wanted, but I think that most of the blame lies with the Governor and the Mayor, because even with Katrina the response was better in Mississippi, and for Rita the Governor and Mayor worked closely with FEMA and that is why there was a better response there.The president said he wanted to see the emergency response system from the ground floor at U.S. Northern Command headquarters. "I need to understand how it works better," he told reporters before leaving Washington. But Bush was also embarking on a broader, and possibly more important, mission: restoring strength and confidence in his presidency.
Hugh Hewitt blogged The Washington Post today runs another "low point of the presidency" piece, that argues the president "finds himself struggling to reclaim his swagger." The reporters start with their premise and then seek out folks who will agree with it, which is about par for reporting these days, and the approval rating is cited as the key bit of data.
And it is a typical technique used by the MSM to try to tear down the president..... Even six months from now, and certainly six years from now, September '05 will be one of the crucial moments in the Bush presidency, but not because of his start down a long decline, but because of the elections in Afghanistan, the adoption of a draft Constitution in Iraq and its endorsement by the Ayatollah Sistani --the most crucial bit of news not widely absorbed this past week-- the placement on the SCOTUS of another GOP Chief Justice, keeping the judiciary's number one post in solid hands for many years to come, and a nomination to the Court yet to come will mark September '05 as a month where difficult decisions made long ago began to show the sort of undeniable success that not even a partisan media could distort.... October 15's vote in Iraq is a huge day in the near future, as will be the day the president names his next nominee. There is little that America can do to influence the vote on the 15th except secure the roads that day and provide the purple ink. If the Iraqi constitution is adopted, it won't matter whether Ray Nagin spends a month denouncing the president. If it fails, the weariness in this country will get worse because the insurgents will get a second wind and a second reason to continue their massacres.
The slide down in the polls is actually a good thing for conservatives. The president needs his base to stay rock solid, and there is no quicker way to crack that base than with a sideways nomination to the SCOTUS vacancy. Does the Post really want swagger back? Look for an announcement a week from Monday of a solid judicial conservative and listen for the shreiks from the left that will underscore the moment. The exhibition season is over.
ROF, LMAOThe Post focuses on the fact that social security reform stalled in the face of the Senate Democrats refusal to engage in the policy discussion. From early this year I have been arguing that the debate was a win-win for the president. Either he got reform, or the country got a clear picture that its most serious domestic problems cannot be solved unless an obstructionist Democratic Party is punished at the polls in '06, especially in Senate races in Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Washington State. Realignments aren't quick, and the framers set up a system that allowed for "last stands" by obstructionist factions. The Democrats are "stuck on stupid," to use the phrase that defined September as well as any other, and the wags who are burying the president refuse to deal with the realities of the political trends over the past six years. The presidents' opponents have been declaring him down and out since the fall of '00. Keep the clippings handy for election night '06.