Wednesday, June 29, 2005


First, I have to admit: I didn't actually watch the speech. I spent the evening at the local pub's trivia quiz and didn't get home until after 9:00. And we didn't even win (why don't we know where Boutros-Boutros Ghali is from and who the heck is Thomas Cromwell...).

I did read the the transcript, so am commenting on that -- and assuming Bush didn't stray from the script for some of his famous extemporaneous speech-making. Hee hee, just a little humor to break things up.

Anyway, not too surprisingly, the parts I liked best were the sections where he got a little specific about the next steps for establishing security and easing the responsiblilty for security from US to Iraqi troops.

I particularly liked his argument against timelines. I agree with it already, but I thought it was a good example of making an argument concretely and concisely, like you actually want to engage your audience, rather than talk at them with vague but high-flying rhetoric.

Otherwise, it seemed not very inspired, but I am missing out on the actual delivery. However, I'm not sure he was trying to convince the likes of me. On NPR yesterday, someone commented that a summer evening speech might not attract too many viewers, except for the true believers. Which suggests that perhaps Bush was only trying to buck up his base, not convince the wider public. And based on what some right-wing bloggers are saying, the speech may have done the trick. This blog entry from PoliPundit (as linked through Salon's Daou Report) was a good example of the kind of content-free twaddle that gets high marks among many in the Republican base. These folks may well have been thrilled by the speech, and that may mean it's achieved the Administration's goal.

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