Tonight’s Presidential press conference

As I listened to the President tonight on the radio, I was struck by the laziness of his performance; how unprepared he was to answer the most predictable questions with anything more than a rambling string of platitudes.

I agree with most of the President’s platitudes. I’m glad he reminded Americans of the basic reasons why we supported sending troops to liberate Iraq.

But he needed to do something more. He needed to explain why what is happening in Iraq is not what his administration told us would happen. He needed to talk about why we were not prepared for what did happen; or, at least, tell us how we will become better prepared.

He did none of these things. He doesn’t seem to understand that it is not enough for him to talk in generalities. He has taken our country to war to liberate Iraq, and Iraq has not been liberated. We expect him to deliver what our men and women paid for in blood, or else explain why the mission has not been accomplished. He failed us. Again.

I had hoped to hear a leader tonight. What I heard was Tommy Smothers with a Texas accent.

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2 Responses to “Tonight’s Presidential press conference”

  1. kevin whited Says:

    A good quantitative political scientist could do some really interesting, timely work on this topic (which means there would be no interest in academia, and it will not happen for that reason). It would be revealing to do a detailed breakdown of approval/disapproval of the performance (make it your dependent variable) by all sorts of factors, including the usual demographic factors, but also political opinion factors (like agreement/disagreement on going to war in Iraq, etc).

    Going in, I would expect that perceptions of that press conference would be driven highly by opinion on the war in general.

  2. Steve Says:

    Kevin: I agree — good point.

    The correlation of your dependent variable with whether the respondent trusts the president would also be interesting, as would a correlation with how the respondent sees the role of the president as administrator (hands-on manager versus hands-off delegater).

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