Bush Speech Reax Roundup


Mr. Bush devoted the first half of his speech to domestic policy. But his biggest ideas were not really new, and he left the daunting details of the agenda items Mr. McCain outlined in the interview – a comprehensive overhaul of Social Security and Medicare, a reining in federal spending, a reshaping of immigration law – almost entirely unaddressed. The major items he did mention face significant opposition in Congress, and many would cost far more than his own party seems likely to be willing to spend.


Not really. It came off more like “The State of the Union, Part 2,” a sequel, heavy on repetition, to a speech Bush already gave this year. He did exude confidence and bravado most of the time, however, and his energy level seemed high. Virtually conceding that he has a reputation for humorlessness — and implicitly retracting his assertion, made at a carefully controlled news conference, that he couldn’t think of anything he’d done wrong as president — Bush did a good job with a few self-deprecating gibes that preceded the speech’s emotional ending.


While he defended his assertiveness, however, Mr Bush offered no new plans in foreign policy. He had nothing to say about reform of the intelligence services. Iran and North Korea did not figure either. Nor, unsurprisingly, did the still-at-large Osama bin Laden. With nearly 140,000 American troops tied down in Iraq, there is simply little room for new threats against America’s enemies. Mr Bush’s speech was more a plea to trust him for what he has done in the past than a signal of what he hopes to do in the future.

And the columnists of the always excellent Boston Globe give us a major WTF?

ALL WEEK a succession of well-meaning friends insist George W. Bush is a great date. They make him sound so appealing that you consider giving the guy a second shot. But when he finally knocks at your door, you remember, as that Amy Dalley country song puts it: “Shoes don’t stretch, and men don’t change.”