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 BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE (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. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE 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 BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE (D-Del.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt Fight over Biden agenda looms large over Virginia governor's race MORE (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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