Grading Bush


Some unsurprising evaluations on last night's performance:

Andrew Sullivan:

I've just watched the press conference later on C-SPAN. Not only was the transcript encouraging. I found the president clear, forceful, impassioned, determined, real. This was not an average performance. I found it Bush at his best. He needs to do it more.

Jonah Goldberg:

I thought Bush was fine though. At first I thought the prepared remarks were a bit too down-tempo. But it became clear his comments were building on each other. I think he set the right tone and said the right things.

Glenn Reynolds:

Overall, a pretty good opening speech -- though he probably should have given it weeks ago. The first question was a "quagmire" question. "How do you answer the Vietnam question?"

I think Bush handled that pretty well, and he looked confident and quick on his feet (for Bush). More importantly, he seemed sincere, and determined ("tough" was an oft-repeated word), while admitting problems.


…I want one of those magic ties.
…I'm guessing 3 questions max. Karl Rove to TV networks -- Suckers! thanks for the free air time…
…Secretary of State Rumsfeld? Well, there's some news I guess…
…oy, I'm convinced now - he has an earpiece.
…damn, I thought On Bended Knee Bumiller was on vacation…
…wow, what a disaster. At least someone woke the Hos up a bit.
…wow, from 'no one could picture planes flying into buildings' to 'Genoa threat' in 1.4 minutes.

The Daily Kos:

Whenever asked about the effects of his actions, Bush answered by affirming his virtuous motives. When asked about a situation or development, Bush answered by referencing himself, often with strange third person-like observations of himself. He failed to give even an approximation of an answer to all but a couple of the questions. And most damning, despite being given numerous opportunities, Bush showed he's constitutionally prohibited from accepting responsibility--not blame, responsibility.