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Bush, Post Capture


The boost to the president’s stature from the capture of Saddam Hussein goes far beyond the sense that the violence in Iraq may now decrease. The deeper gain for the president will be in the way the public perceives him. In an age of instant news cycles, constant political positioning, and wars that last mere days or weeks, it is rare for our nation to have to cope with violence and woe over a substantial period of time. President Bush has now done this in Iraq. A feeling that the president has the courage and resolve to make bold moves and stick with them, even when the going gets tough, will now take root. Nothing that has happened up to now–neither 9/11, nor Afghanistan, nor the actual war in Iraq, compares to the occupation in either difficulty or scale. To have seen this through until a corner was turned means that the president’s reputation for leadership has now been deepened immensely. This is something more serious than even the president’s “transformation” after 9/11. There is no substitute for the proof of time, and time has now cemented a bond between the president and the public. I’ve heard it said that the president’s reelection could be threatened by a major terrorist attack on American soil. I don’t believe that. Any major attack would help the president and hurt his Democratic rivals. Who now would trust a Democratic candidates over president Bush to see us through a crisis with courage and resolve? In a post-9/11 world, personal stature, will, and leadership count for even more than they ordinarily do. Combine this with what is likely to be a deadly civil war among the Democrats over Iraq, and the fundamentals for the Republicans in the next election are looking very good indeed.


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