Saturday, October 15, 2005

Presidential theater........

CDR Salamander has a post and a link up from a member of the group of Soldiers that were part of the Presidential Video Tele Conference the previous evening. The Soldier bashes the Main Stream Media for calling the event "staged":

It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers. They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are tearing the country apart. Worthless!

Michelle Malkin ( You know her, she's the c**t!) has been pushing her agenda of ripping the MSM with 2 posts about this conference. Yet with all due respect to the Phibian, both she and he miss the point: The media is actually right, but not for the reason the event was staged. Of course it was staged. No self respecting commander is going to host an event involving the Commander in Chief with out mapping out every detail, checking it four times and making damn sure that all of the misfits have guard duty, are in restriction, or are on the flight schedule for that particular period of time. Every one remembers the Hornet XO talking about Clinton's visit on TR back in 1993.:

Maybe we can call this his military service," Cmdr. Bill Gortney
told Newsweek. "Three hours is more than he had before."

As I recall there was hell to pay about that statement. Did not hurt the good CDR Gortney in the end though, he's now a 1 star admiral........

Every Presidential interaction with the military is staged..........I was one of the props in the audience when Clinton spoke to the crew of the Eisenhower when it came back from Haiti in 1994. I even shook the man's hand. Had I been to Haiti? NO. I was with the rest of the air wing, which had been left ashore to make room for Army helos......

Repeat this again, every Presidential interaction with the media is staged.

Which leads me to my main point, why is the media right about this Presidential photo op? Because the armed services are not the audience that needs to be convinced. If the poll numbers are to be believed ( and I tend to doubt them myself) the military is 2-1 in favor of Bush over anyone else. He does not have to sell himself or his war to them. He's had their obedience since January 20, 2001. Just like Clinton had our obedience from January 20,1993 - January 20, 2001. That just goes with the territory.

He does not need to do things like this. If he remains steadfast in his commitment to what he has started, then resorting to photo-ops is the last thing he should do. The President would be better off taking on a group of doubting Thomas's like me and enunciating the themes he spoke in his speech of 2 weeks ago. That speech, by the way, did not change my mind; but at least he sounded more convincing. An event like this, makes it seem like he is worried about the fact that only 39% of the American public thinks he is doing a good job ( You can guess which percentage I lie in e.g. the other 61%...) , instead of pushing on despite the noise and "staying the course".

This thing is more important than poll numbers. However the President has been trying to dig himself out of a public relations hole since May 1, 2003. As I posted previously:

Where there is no clarity, there can be no criteria for success or failure.That is the crisis today. No one agrees as to what is happening; therefore, no one can explain who is winning or losing.Out of this situation came the deeper confusion: Iraq. From the beginning, it was not clear why the United States invaded Iraq. The Bush administration offered three explanations: First, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; second, that Iraq was complicit with al Qaeda; and finally, that a democratic Iraq -- and creation of a democratic Muslim world -- would help to stop terrorism (or more precisely, al Qaeda).


He can do 10 more of these events and it will not change the poll numbers.......Bush needs to find a clear and coherent message and stick to it. And he needs to offer something more hopeful than "stay the course". The President has about 6 more months of public patience, after that....who knows what could happen. When he finds that right message, he better make sure he pitches it to the right audience.

Oh, and one more thing, when I googled this event, I found just as much positive coverage as negative, which proves my other theory: "You get the product you pay for....."

Skippy-san

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