It was, I think a better speech than he has ever made. He did not stumble over his words once and he addressed issues that Democrats have traditionally called their own and which he has largely ignored.
He talked about global climate change, social programs, healthcare reform and Iraq without the " I know better" attitude that he is famous for.
He also linked Iran and Iraq to 9/11. Although largely debunked, this fearmongering has worked for him in the past and will generally work now.
Maybe Dubya realizes that he can't govern alone. He did actually reach out, perhaps knowing how weak his grip is.
That's the way the wind's blowing at the moment, PTP. The Dems are looking hard at the mountain states, where there's a much stronger groundswell of populism. Think about John Tester from Montana etc.
There's a book over here called "Whisting Past Dixie" which lays out a strategy of how the dems win in 2008 without the South. "What's the matter with Kansas" covers the same sort of thing regarding how the GOP has basically abandoned the little guy in American society.
If the Dems hold to this strategy, then it's curtains for Hillary. Obama might be in with a shout, maybe Richardson, but Biden et al won't play too well over there.
As for the speech, I think it was one of his better performances. Policy-wise, he's on a losing wicket. It'll be interesting to see if he signs the legislation on AIDS, Malaria and TB if it doesn't mandate that 1/3 of funds go to abstinence only programs. Was pleasing to hear him utter the words climate change. As with the other more progressive stuff he had in there, I think he's basically asking Congress to put its money where its mouth is. His health insurance plan is DOA though.
Abizaid is retiring and Casey has been selected to be Army Chief of Staff pending Senate approval of course. As for the troop increases they are well overdue and can be accomplished without the draft. To help the recruiting effort DoD will probably start sposnoring recruits for green cards like they did during the Vietnam War.
Brett McGurk, 12 Jan...7 Principles. Report focuses on the double-bind of coalition forces in Iraq:
Some questions gentlemen:...external military additions.....nice enough, but how this will work when the main problem long-term seems internal, defined by Middle-East mentality and apparently unaddressed?
On the Iraqi people:'Many are 'disillisioned with coalition forces'
a) Why are there restrictions on coalition forces thereby preventing the establishedment of security? Do the Iraqis want stabilty or not?
b)How are the Iragis themselves contributing to security when -(paraphrasing)'30,000 ISF, yet many don't turn up every day'. and 'Police contributing to violence.....'
More troops from the West ? Isn't that like putting a finger plaster over a gaping wound ?