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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Golly Gee, I like You!

“It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday’s vote on a new Iraqi constitution.
‘This is an important time,’ Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. ‘The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you.’
Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.
As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army’s 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit — the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
‘I’m going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me,’ Barber said.
A brief rehearsal ensued.
‘OK, so let’s just walk through this,’ Barber said. ‘Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?’
‘Captain Smith,’ Kennedy said.
‘Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?’ she asked.
‘Captain Kennedy,’ the soldier replied.
And so it went.
‘If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?’ Barber asked.
‘That’s going to go to Captain Pratt,’ one of the soldiers said.
‘And then if we’re going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they’re handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?’ she asked.
Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the United States would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.
‘So long as I’m the president, we’re never going to back down, we’re never going to give in, we’ll never accept anything less than total victory,’ Bush said.”
-Associated Press, October 14, 2005

“Wow. Sounds staged to me, but that can’t be right. Scottie said it wasn’t.”

“Q But we asked you specifically this morning if there would be any screening of questions or if they were being told in any way what they should say or do, and you indicated no.
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think that's what the question was earlier today. I think the question earlier today was asking if they could ask whatever they want, and I said, of course, the President was -- and you saw --
Q And I asked if they were pre-screened.
MR. McCLELLAN: You saw earlier today the President was trying to engage in a back-and-forth with the troops.
Q But I also asked this morning, were they being told by their commanders what to say or what to do, and you indicated, no. Was there any prescreening of --
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not aware of any such -- any such activities that were being undertaken. We coordinated closely with the Department of Defense. You can ask if there was any additional things that they did. But we work very closely with them to coordinate these events, and the troops can ask the President whatever they want. They've always been welcome to do that.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, October13, 2005

“And their response seemed so genuine, with a positive spin not seen since Harriet Mier’s birthday card to Dubya.”

“The soldiers all gave Bush an upbeat view of the situation.
The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.
‘Thank you very much for everything,’ he gushed. ‘I like you.’”
-Associated Press, October 14, 2005

“I guess things are looking up in Iraq.”

“Most of Iraq is in a state of anarchy, with insurgents controlling parts of Baghdad just half a mile from the so-called Green Zone, an Independent debate was told last night.

‘The Americans must leave Iraq and they will leave Iraq, but they can't leave Iraq and that is the equation that turns sand to blood. At some point, they will have to talk to the insurgents.
‘But I [Robert Fisk] don't know how, because those people who might be negotiators the United Nations, the Red Cross their headquarters have been blown up. The reality now in Iraq is the project is finished. Most of Iraq, except Kurdistan, is in a state of anarchy.’
‘Every time I go to Baghdad it's worse, every time I ask myself how we can keep going. Because the real question is: is the story worth the risk?’
-The Independent (UK), October 13, 2005

“I mean, I know that things SEEM bad, but I know that Dubya puts as much thought into the war in Iraq as he does his nominee to the Supreme Court.”

“’You had to meet her standards, which are very, very high standards, to get documents in to the president,’ said one former administration official who agreed to speak of a former colleague only on the condition of anonymity. ‘I would be fibbing if I didn't say at times that was frustrating.’
In 2001, Bush's first year in office, Miers rejected the text of the White House Christmas card and ordered a new version because, the White House said, she did not think it was written well enough.”
-Washington Post, October 13, 2005

“Yes, that would be the President of the United State’s nominee to join the Supreme Court proofreading Christmas cards three months after 9/11. Yep, she’s qualified. She also has the most positive spin seen since Dubya talked to the troops in Iraq.”

"’You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect,’ Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him ‘cool,’ said he and his wife, Laura, were ‘the greatest!’ and told him: ‘Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed.’"
-New York Times, October 10, 2005

“Does he ever talk to anyone who doesn’t kiss his ass?”


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