How well is President Bush handling the status of the War on Terror and his Presidency – that’s the subject of today’s Talking Points memo.
The answer is quite well, at least physically. He works out like crazy and mountain bikes in his rare spare time. Six years have given him a few more wrinkles, but then I don’t have to deal with a pot-belly dictator either.
My throey about President Bush is that he is a true believer, he sincerely thinks he is looking out for Americans in the best ways possible, and the polls be dammed. That kind of certainty provides solace and calm.
However, this type of attitude is a double-edged sward. Mr. Bush reportedly sleeps well; he’s not prowling the White House at 4AM the way Bill Clinton was, but true belivers often do not react quickly to changing circumstances. They tend to set a course and stay that course.
Iraq is the defining issue for Mr. Bush’s presidency. His administration has succeeded in badly daming al Qaeda and making it very difficult to take root on American soil. This is undeinable. The Bush haters will tell you that the President is fear-mongering and the like, but this is just hyper-partisan nonsence. Stopping al Qaeda is a huge job and President Bush is on top of it.
But few anticipated that Iran would pile on the Iraq situation, and that is why the conflict over there remains bloody and unstable. The Iranians are arming and funding Shia killers and do not want a stable government in Iraq. They are promoting chaos so the USA will leave – leaving Iran calling the shots in Baghdad. If that happens, Muslim terrorism will dramatically increase in power everywhere, and moderate Muslim Gulf States will lose faith in the USA.
Many American are depressed over iraq and blame the Bush administration for failing to win the war. This is understandable. But President Bush believes he can outlast the terrorists, and that his strategy is the only viable way to blunt the savage jihad. The President sees himself as a modern day Abraham Lincoln before Gettysburg, under siege but standing firm.
Nobody knows how Iraq will play out in the two years the President has left in office. But what I can say is that he is committed to the fight, and believes in it with all his heart.
Is that enough for victory? Impossible to tell. But I’m praying it is.
And that’s the memo.