May 24, 2004

THE INSTA-DAUGHTER learned to ride a two-wheeler without falling down tonight (perhaps she can give Bush and Kerry lessons). That means I missed most of Bush’s speech as I was busy first helping, then applauding, for a couple of hours after dinner. Caught the last few minutes of the speech, and it seemed okay to me. Bush will never win any oratory awards, but he was focused and to the point, and I thought the ending, where he contrasted the terrorists’ vision of a Taliban-like society versus our vision of freedom was good. (Nice touch styling our approach as a way for the Middle East to regain its historical greatness, too.)

Other folks no doubt saw the whole thing. I’ll try to post links to their evaluations later. Meanwhile, LT Smash’s prediction was borne out. (You can read these predictions by Steven Den Beste too, and decide how accurate they were.)

UPDATE: They were live-blogging it at The Corner.

Adam Harris reacts to ABC’s “Breaking News” update, which he regards as rather disingenuous.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Andrew Morton emails:

He seems to be serious about, and investing a lot in the transfer of sovereignty.

Mark my words: the media meme for the next six months will be that the transfer is fraudulent, that the US is still pulling the strings and that the new Iraqi government is an illegitimate puppet.

This will boost the legitimacy of the killers, will produce a worse long-term outcome for the Iraqis and will result in the deaths of coalition servicemembers, contractors and good Iraqis.

I hope this is wrong.

Daniel Drezner’s running an open comment thread.

Here’s a link to the text of Bush’s speech. (Via Powerline).

Rob Bernard has thoughts.

Andrew Sullivan gives the speech a B+ but says Bush seemed “exhausted.” I don’t blame him. I’m tired myself, and I’m not the President.

Victor Davis Hanson gives Bush mixed grades. More comments here, here, and here.

Finally (for this post, at least) Mickey Kaus points to the three most important words in the speech — “no later than.”