Thoughts on tomorrow's speech

President Obama's idea to call President George W. Bush on Tuesday before he speaks from the Oval Office about the end of combat operations in Iraq is a good one. And Obama has rightly concluded that the words "mission accomplished" won't be appropriate for tomorrow night's address. In what will be his second Oval Office address, Obama will thank our men and women in uniform — and their families — for their service and sacrifice in that more than seven-year-old war and acknowledge the challenges that remain. And he admits he will be taking credit as well for a promise kept. In his radio address this weekend Obama said he promised as a candidate to end the Iraq war. "As president this is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I toook office," Obama said.

But the choice of the Oval Office to draw attention to an issue most Americans are no longer focused on has guaranteed to focus attention on the fact that as the bad economic news keeps coming, Obama hasn't chosen to speak to the American people about the economy recently. The speech will also focus attention on the war in Afghanistan, which isn't going well and is rapidly losing support from the public as well as members of both parties in Congress. Finally, a dramatic moment of political theater will also focus on how Obama failed to support the 2007 surge credited with turning the war around.

According to a report in The Hill by Molly Hooper, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will respond to the president's remarks at the American Legion Convention in Milwaukee in what will be his second major address in less than two weeks. Boehner will hit Obama hard about Israel, he will address Afghanistan and he will discuss how the successful surge strategy was opposed by Obama as well as then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Given the state of Obama's presidency and his continuously plunging poll numbers, it's hard to believe he couldn't think of another way to acknowledge this transition, mark this ending and thank the troops.


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