Monday, April 12, 2004

The key to the Iraq issue for Kerry

Keep saying we need international support, but say nothing about what happened before 9/11. I think Bush will be able to hang himself there. I especially like the take the New York Times Editorial Board has in today's paper.
Over the last few weeks we have heard lawmakers and officials from two administrations talk about their feelings of responsibility, about how they compulsively re-examine the events leading up to 9/ll, asking themselves whether they could have done anything to avert the terrible disaster that day. It is beginning to seem that the only person free of that kind of self-examination is the man who was chief executive when the attacks occurred.It must be stressed that the Times does not blame the Bush Administration for 9/11, but blames them for lack of earnest self-examination. I suspect many Americans will come to blame the White House for that lack as time goes on and events such as the description of the August 6 memo as "history" continue to pile up.

The Times advice to him is both sound and nonpartisan:
Mr. Bush needs to speak out fully in public, both about 9/11 and about Iraq. He is chief executive of a country that once trusted him to lead in perilous times. The public supported his decision to go to war in the Middle East because most Americans believed his judgment was sound. That kind of faith is not just what he needs to win an election in November. It is what he needs to run the country, and he is in grave danger of losing it. Neither administration officials nor political advisers nor the White House spin team can hold on to the country's ebbing confidence.They clearly hope for a united America, and this cannot happen without the President coming forward and speaking. The thing is, this President has no public presence for those kinds of actions. My own feeling is that the waters are already poisoned for him.

But Kerry should not mention anything about what happened pre-9/11. Let the focus remain on the White House of No Shame.