February 10, 2004
Like many of you I watched Tim Russert interview the President on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Initially I felt that Russert was being soft on Mr. Bush in not following up on his stumbling answers and prevaricating during the hour long broadcast. As the interview drew to a close, however, it became clear that by only asking the questions, and not strongly attacking anything said by the President, Mr. Russert was creating a situation where George W. Bush would stand or fall on his own.
To my eyes and ears he fell badly, and judging by the press coverage there are a lot of people who agree with me. Nearly a year after the initial invasion of Iraq, with hundreds of American solders dead and thousands more wounded, with untold thousands of Iraqis dead and wounded, George W. Bush would now like to change his story. It has been over two years since the terrorist attacks of September 2001, since we invaded Afghanistan to over-throw the government there, and still haven't quashed al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden is still at large.
This President has betrayed the basic trust his swore to uphold when he took office three years ago. The economy is in shambles, millions have lost their jobs, tax cuts for the rich haven't had any effect on the average citizen, we are at war in two different countries, and Bush smugly smiles at the camera and tells us in his mind he is right.
For several weeks now, watching the Democratic party slowly implode trying to find a voice and a candidate, I have held the position that the election was Bush's to lose. That if Karl Rove was smart he'd never let Bush appear in public unless it was tightly scripted and controlled. Sunday's interview certainly didn't come off that way. If the stories of Bush's self imposed isolation from news sources are true, maybe he really doesn't have a clue how 55% of Americans feel about his presidency. I still feel that the election is Bush's to lose, but now I feel like he could lose it.