Ain’t Missin’ You At All

1 comment January 29th, 2008at 09:44pm Posted by Eli

Oh right, you’re still here. My bad.

Some of my favorite bits from The All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin’s most excellent roundup of State Of The Union coverage – see if you can detect a theme:

A president’s voice is his most powerful tool, but the power is lost if people are no longer listening. “The country wants to get past this administration,” said presidential scholar Robert Dallek. [William Neikirk, Chicago Tribune]

President Bush proposed a short list of initiatives Monday that more than anything else underscored the White House’s growing realization that his biggest political opponents now are time and an electorate already looking beyond him.

…Nothing he proposed Monday is likely to redefine how history judges his presidency. [Steven Lee Myers, NYT]

“He’s totally eclipsed,” said Elaine Kamarck, who was a senior adviser to former vice president Al Gore. “Nothing he says is going to be important for anything that happens in the next 12 months. The speech is a nonevent.” [Peter Baker, WaPo]

Some Presidents are gone but not forgotten; Bush isn’t gone, but in a political sense is already forgotten.

His approval ratings are roughly half what they were at his first State of the Union address, about one-third of their post-9/11 peak. Republicans love his fund-raising prowess, but most candidates seldom mention him. “Nobody’s paying attention to him anymore,” said a veteran of his 2000 presidential campaign. [Thomas DeFrank, NY Daily News]

The House chamber held much less of the excitement and tension that marked previous State of the Union addresses.

Instead, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers seemed already to have moved on from Bush’s presidency, gossiping among themselves about the presidential race. [Michael Kranish and Susan Milligan, Boston Globe]

Embattled as he now is in his bunker and with fewer and fewer allies remaining to sustain his morale, even Bush himself now seems to have virtually given up hope for his own presidency. I suspect that he has now reached the stage where he, just as much as the rest of us, can’t wait for those 357 days to pass and for the 44th president to move into the White House and take charge. Goodnight, Mr President. [Andrew Stephen, New Statesman]

The idea of being irrelevant probably hurts Dubya even more than being despised.

Two other tidbits, one from WaPo Associate Editor Robert G. Kaiser, in an online chat:

It is fascinating to me how difficult it is for politicians (and journalists too, to be fair) to say publicly what so many of them readily say among themselves now: this is a failed presidency, one of the most unsuccessful in American history probably. Republicans in Congress say this to each other, but tonight they jump up an applaud like cheerleaders for their team.

I mean, not that his paper has been guilty of that or anything, but still, it’s refreshing to hear.

And this second item is just pathetic, really:

The White House press office is calling attention to this morning’s Wall Street Journal editorial and its assertion that “even with only a year left, the Bush Presidency is far from over. With his low approval rating and a Democratic Congress, Mr. Bush’s final State of the Union last night reflected his limited ability to shape legislation. But even a lame duck President has more power to influence events than anyone else on the planet.”

Look! We’re still relevant! Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal says so!

Yes, it is true to some extent, but most of Dubya’s power now is that of obstruction and destruction, neither of which is going to help his legacy any. Oh, and he can break some more laws, but that won’t help either.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media

1 Comment

  • 1. Ruth  |  January 30th, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Obstruction and destruction has been the theme of the past seven years. Wars are like that, as is recidivism, and cronyism. The party that keeps insisting that government should serve corporate thieving can’t expect a lot of glory outside its boardrooms. And boardrooms are fickle.

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