Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Pity the traveling press corps, flying to Georgia andstuck with Dana Peroxide.

Q Did Steve Hadley go to Iraq — what for?

MS. PERINO: Yes, I can confirm that Mr. Hadley did go to Iraq. This is a long-planned trip to the region. With the President out of town this week, it’s a good time for him to go, as part of our ongoing assessments and continued cooperation to get Iraq to be a democratically led country that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and become an ally in the war on terror. I’m not going to provide any other information about his movements, for his security, but we’ll keep you updated as appropriate and as we’re able to provide more information.

Right. The people who believe Hadley’s trip was “long-planned” also believe Dana is a natural blonde.

How’s the puppet working out these days, Dana?

Q Is the White House getting a sense that there’s a need for other person-to-person contact? You have this phone call between the Prime Minister and the President on Saturday; now Hadley is there. There has been a lot of talk of some dissatisfaction within the Iraqi government with the ambassador. And so is it time for others to sort of step in and provide that face-to-face contact?

MS. PERINO: I haven’t heard any discussion of that. I think that any time you can have a face-to-face discussion, despite the difficult logistics that are presented in the current situation because of the security — and also because of the distance — that — certainly, secure video provides you a little bit of that opportunity. It’s certainly not as intimate as a personal meeting. And he really felt — I think that the President enjoyed his time — well, I know that he enjoyed his trip to Baghdad, and then when Mr. Maliki had been in town and participated at the White House, it always is good for relationship building.

But I think those two men, in particular, feel like their relationship is strong and that they have a common goal, and one — it’s a matter of execution. And the statement that we released on Saturday talks about the three goals that they’re working on, in terms of turning over security forces.

I haven’t heard any discussion — I’ve certainly read reports that there might be some people discussing dissatisfaction with one person or another, but it’s not anything that’s widely talked about within the White House. I think everyone is focused, has their eye on the ball and focused on getting the job done.

Yeah, right, whatever. Maliki is playing Chimpy like a drum.