Monday, December 05, 2005

A simple question with no simple answer........

Dan Froomkin of the Washington post asks an interesting question:

When was the last time that Bush spoke in a forum open to citizens who are representative of the diverse array of views in the country?

And before anyone beats me up, I know that the military audiences he has spoken in front of are diverse. They are also required to be present and for the most part, don't require the type of passionate persuasion that say, members of Congress do.

I'm not setting out here to debate the merits of what has been in Bush's speeches of late. I am simply returning to a persistent question that has been in my mind. Namely, since much of the current "should I stay or should I go" distress originated with the Congress, why does not the President take his message straight to them and to the people. Surely the dynamic of a sitting president, confronting his Congressional critics directly would have a hell of a lot more image value than an address in front of a scripted stage event, such as occurred last week at the Naval Academy.

Look at some of these recent examples of Bush speaking in a controlled environment:

Bush [gave] a speech on the war on terror -- at the United States Naval Academy. Then he attends a reception for Republican party donors.
[The day before], he visits a U.S. Border Patrol office, then attends a Republican fundraising lunch.

[Two days before], he spoke at an Air Force base and a Republican fundraiser .

Before leaving the country on his recent trip to Asia, Bush made one last
speech -- at an Air Force base in Alaska. A few days before that, he spoke at an Army depot in Pennsylvania. When he delivered a speech on Nov. 1 about bird flu, it was to an audience of National Institutes of Health employees.

The best chance ordinary citizens have had in ages to be anywhere near the president comes [last]Thursday at 5 p.m., when the Bushes participate in the Pageant of Peace tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse. But it won't exactly be a policy speech -- and anyway, tickets to that event were distributed [over] three weeks ago.

I don't understand it. It would seem to me that President Bush has nothing to lose by addressing a joint session of Congress and then hammering his point home through a couple of rough and tumble press conferences, followed by some big speeches in non-traditional settings. He's already won re-election. His approval can't get any lower , and he might not have to drag his audiences in 4 hours before hand to catch up on some needed shut-eye:

Does prove the value of military training though. Always grab an opportunity to get some zzz's, you never know when it may come again! Just like the old liberty rule: "Always eat before you leave the ship, you never know when you'll eat a meal again......"

I've asked the question before and I'll probably ask it again.......Nonetheless, enquiring minds want to know. When ?


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