Friday, August 13, 2004

Pres/First Lady on Larry King Live

Last night, President and Mrs. Bush appeared on Larry King Live. My overall take was that it was a decent interview. I felt Mrs. Bush was a little passive, and sometimes it takes great effort for our President to get his train of thought out of the station. But there were some gems, highlighted below:

- I had never thought of applying the "are we better off now than we were 4 years ago?" question to this election. Ultimately, that's what a re-election bid boils down to. And while, in terms of economy, employment, health care, education, etc., this will be an interesting debate for the next months, there is one area, brought out by the Prez last night, where we most definitely are better off now than we were 4 years ago: security. And since that's a pretty big issue in this election, this line of questioning should not scare the right as much as it scared me prior to last night. Bush's answer was strong, spoken without hesitation, and centered on the biggest issue of this upcoming election. Excellent stuff!

- asked to compare his timeline for the decreasing of troop numbers in Iraq with Sen. Kerry's proposed 6-months: "the timeline is this: not one day more than is necessary, and the commanders on the ground will let us know when". (I like this answer a lot--leaves the decision for troop strength with the soldiers on the ground, not back in Washington. Isn't that something that we should have learned from VietNam?) He re-iterated, although not as strongly as I wish he had, that our troops were there at the Iraqi government's request. King asked if that meant that if the Iraqis asked us to leave, would we leave? Yes. Again, Bush got that entire segment right!

- Bush gave an excellent argument for a Federal Marriage Amendment. I wish I had the transcript of the interview so I could run it whole--it was the best explanation I'd heard yet. Legal rights for homosexual couples? Leave that up to the states. But the question of "marriage" should be decided on by the PEOPLE through the LEGISLATIVE Branch, not by the courts!

- He called, again, for an end to the 527 ads. While not totally distancing himself from the Swift Boat Vets, he did say that the campaign finance law he signed should have brought about an end to ads like that. I think this is an effective line for the administration, so keep it going.

- Like so many of us, Bush acknowledged that he married over his head. And he said it with such an air of affection that he really came off as sincere. It added greatly to his "everyman" image, which is something the campaign should play to strongly in the upcoming months.

One other observation: there were minimal fluff questions for the whole 40-plus minutes of the interview. This was a hard-hitting interview, and the President seemed to be just fine. In contrast, when the Kerry's appeared on LKL in early July, it was not what a non-partisan observer would classify as a tough interview. Gee, imagine that. . .


Post a Comment

<< Home