October 14, 2003

Who are ya gonna believe, honey, me or your lyin' eyes?

While I've long suspected that the Bush communications shop was more than a little overrated, it never occurred to me that they'd send the president out at a moment of some political peril with a message that can't pass the giggle test.

Bush Defends All Aspects of Iraq Policy
WASHINGTON - President Bush is seeking to set the record on Iraq straight as he sees it, arguing that his decision to go to war was correct, the aftermath has been successful and feuding about it among his foreign policy team is nonexistent.

What's all this happy talk supposed to accomplish? It certainly won't change the tone of the press coverage coming out of Iraq; in fact, over time it's likely to make matters worse, as every attack on US forces comes to be seen as a direct refutation of the president's message. Worse yet, the blatant dishonesty at the core of all this (Infighting? What infighting?) further devalues one of Mr. Bush's most important assets -- the (already fading) post-9/11 perception that he's an honest-to-God straight-shooter in a town full of liars, mountebanks and frauds.

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.

Posted by Jack O'Toole on October 14, 2003 05:27 AM

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The Great Push Back
Excerpt: 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...
Weblog: Calpundit
Tracked: October 14, 2003 03:04 PM
Facts on the Ground
Excerpt: FACTS ON THE GROUND....Remember "push back," the PR campaign designed to bypass the big time media and tell the American public the truth about how well things are going in Iraq? Jack O'Toole already made the right call on the...
Weblog: Calpundit
Tracked: November 13, 2003 01:33 PM
How Are We Doing in Iraq?
Excerpt: HOW ARE WE DOING IN IRAQ?....There are two subjects that an awful lot of people seem to judge based almost solely on their opinion of George Bush: (a) the strength of the economy and (b) our success in Iraq. If...
Weblog: Calpundit
Tracked: December 6, 2003 04:02 PM

Perhaps it will be a disaster, but you must remember that this PR offensive is designed to win back the hearts-and-minds of the ordinary American, not the people who pay attention to these things with any regular basis.

Bush couldn't care if he loses the "GOP smart guy" just so long as he can win over the much larger group of joe and jane schmoes.

And he CAN do it.

Posted by: Chris Andersen on October 14, 2003 11:46 AM

From what I saw of Dick Lugar on Sunday's MTP, he's already there.

Posted by: Allen Brill on October 14, 2003 04:23 PM

"Next up at bat, former GM -- heh, heh -- of the Texas Rangers. He's 0 for 3 today, but he's due--wait, what is that? Is he carrying... No way. Is that a Tennis Racket, Earl?"

"Badminton, Steve."

Posted by: bluto on October 15, 2003 04:54 AM