press conference roundup
I attended the board meeting for my daughter's preschool last night, and thus missed Bush's eigth formal press conference (AP account here; WaPo stories here and here; transcript here). Bush doesn't like press conferences, preferring other formats, like speeches, in which
his assertions are less likely to be challenged he can better control his message. However, a quick dip into the blog pool reveals several reactions, not all favorable.
uggabugga has a lengthy post on the subject, rebutting Bush's claims in handy table format.
CalPundit provides "live" commentary here: "Pathetic. The only toss-up is whose performance was worse, Bush or the press."
Even Andrew Sullivan was less than impressed: "The spin is that he was trying to look calm and reassuring. I just thought he looked wiped. There were moments when he almost seemed catatonic with fatigue. ...All in all, though, this press conference struck me as a mistake. He looked drained, wan, exhausted from this interminable diplomatic process. He seemed defeated to me."
Here's WaPo critic Tom Shales: "[T]he occasion found Bush declaring this to be "an important moment" for America and the world, yet he spoke with little urgency and no perceptible passion....by his tone and his demeanor, he certainly didn't inspire a great burst of hopeful confidence."
For my part, I don't deny that there are valid arguments in favor of confronting Iraq, but every time Bush dishonestly links Iraq and 9/11, every time he says not invading is "doing nothing," he excuses anyone from taking his arguments seriously.
It's quite simple: if this were truly the right thing to do, he wouldn't have to lie about it. And even if it's the right thing to do, Bush's ongoing mendacity completely rules out supporting his war plans.