I just finished watching the speech via foxnews.com. You have to watch it chopped up into six segments with commercials. Annoying but, thank God for the Internet or - not having cable - I would not been able to see it at all.
First, let's take as written that he's a horrible public speaker. I'm sure he thinks he's telegraphing strength, determination and resolve. In reality, he looks shifty and smirky. His language is sloppy in a way that projects intellectual laziness - he often says "tuh" instead of "to".
I'm convinced that if he had Clinton's stage presence, Bush's poll numbers would be at least 10% higher. You look at the man when he's at the podium and you can see that he'd rather be anywhere else. He does not like to do this.
Too f-ing bad Mr. President. You've got to get out in front and lead this thing. You're not up for re-election so it's time to throw political caution to the wind and go balls to the wall on this. You should be giving a similar speech and press conferences every week on this topic. You cannot sit back in the White House.
We need more of this:
THE PRESIDENT: "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.' That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.Good on 'ya sir!
"The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our Nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory."
The President has to re-affirm, explain and, when necessary, defend his Administration's policies in the War on Islamo-Fascism. This is the reason that I - and many other libertarian leaning types - voted for the man. It certainly wasn't for his position on gay rights or the war on drugs.
Keep it up. Don't slack off. Take the fight to your "critics". More of this and more often please.
Lead this country in time of war.