From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:
—On Bush and the Republicans—
MARA LIASSON: Now look this did underscore what almost everybody is saying, September is a real deadline, not only for the president’s ability to hold onto Republicans in Congress, but people for people to make some pretty serious decisions about the war. I mean, I think everything that — all the reporting that was done about this meeting seems completely credible. You know, everybody is unhappy and especially moderate Republicans who are in these swing districts who are going to be facing some of the toughest re-election prospects in November.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Rank and file Republicans, conservative Republicans, are equally scared to death about the war and about how it’s going to affect their prospects in November. And I think, as the president said, the clock is ticking here and it strikes midnight in September when Petraeus returns. But until then the Republicans are going to hang with the president in the votes. . . . [I]f Petraeus returns with either bad news or no news, then [Bush is] going to lose a large number of Republicans in the Congress and he will lose control of the Iraq policy.
—On Tony Blair—
BRIAN WILSON: Tony Blair making an announcement that was no big surprise that’s going to step down as prime minister of that country and there will be some change there. This has been the president’s most staunch ally on the war against terror — Charles.
KRAUTHAMMER: He was, he remains so, and he’ll probably be succeeded by someone — although he’s extremely opaque — George Brown, and nobody quite knows what he thinks, who will probably remain a steady course. Blair leaves unpopular, but I think he’ll be remembered very, very highly in history. Firstly, economically he pulled the British left out of the socialist gutter and had tremendous success, low unemployment, inflation — and growth, the strong pound, and everybody in Britain recognizes that.
They are not going to return to the old socialist past. And I think even on foreign affairs, Iraq has made him unpopular, but it’s going to wear away. After all, in 500 years the Brits have colonized and conquered and been chased the out of more places than we can name. Iraq — they’ll be out of Iraq in a year or two and if you compare it with the losses in the world wars, even in colonial wars, the British have lost under 150 in the five years of the Iraq war. Britain will be out within a year or two, Blair will be remembered for his economics and for a very sort of idealistic foreign policy that’ll be remembered, I think, very well. . . .
I think Blair was a remarkable ally. And not because he was a poodle, as everybody accuses, he believed in this stuff before the Bush administration had come into office. He spoke about bringing down dictators in the Balkans. He went after Milosevic and he mentioned Hussein in the late ’90s, so it wasn’t as if he followed us, essentially we followed him.