Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bush thinks it’s all about him

George and George sat down for a chat yesterday. After the president gave up some time for a powwow with his electronic enablers, Bush made it look like he actually cares about everybody else by having a more public bull session with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. There’s much in the interview I could unpack, but I’m a little short for time, so I will just point you to this tidbit:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times this morning that what we might be seeing now is the Iraqi equivalent of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968. Tony Snow this morning said, “He may be right.” Do you agree?

BUSH: He could be right. There’s certainly a stepped up level of violence, and we’re heading into an election.

(There’s video over at Think Progress.)

Most are making a big deal out of Bush agreeing with Tom Friedman (there’s a shocker) and how Bush has finally let the Vietnam analogy seep into his framing of the Iraq disaster, but I think it’s interesting to note that for President George, what really matters about the violence, the mass killings, the buckets of blood spilled in Iraq is that it might affect a US election.

Does Bush really, really think that Shiite militias or Sunni bombers are doing what they are doing because they have our elections on their mind? Are there no other issues there for the President?

Or does he really think about it at all?

Probably not. More likely, he just sees this the way he sees everything: through the lens of domestic politics. Why doesn’t Bush just ask Stephanopoulos straight out: How does this affect the Republican hold on power? What does this have to do with me?


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