I’m afraid I have to side with Michael on the Bush interview. I kept wincing as the president bobbled his answers. Even when he gave what on paper is a decent enough answer, he looked nervous, stumbly and intellectually unsure. He did himself no favors with this interview. I know Bush is not known for being eloquent, but it did strike me that we should be able to expect better than this from the President of the United States, at least after three years in office. I recalled Jay Nordlinger’s terrific tribute to British foreign secretary Jack Straw’s magisterial and ringing Davos defense of the war in his Jan. 22 Impromptus:
Straw was commanding, unflinching, persuasive, affable, willing, and factual. He was informed to the gills. He proved a superb explainer/defender of all that we are doing, and have done, and will do in Iraq. I dare say that no American official has performed as well — certainly not Straw’s counterpart, Colin Powell. How much good it would do, around the world and at home, for Powell to make such efforts, with such conviction and knowledge! My suspicion is that most people would come around to the Coalition point of view — or at least not be hostile to it — if it were explained sufficiently well. This has been a failure of the post-9/11 period. But Jack Straw, trust me, is up to the job.
George W. Bush, I regret to say, is not. He had better get his act together. I found myself watching him slouch and skitter through the Russert interview, and thought how fortunate we are that the president will probably be running against a liberal Democrat from Massa-gay-marriage-chusetts this fall.