JAY ROSEN THINKS that Bush should be delivering a speech to the nation instead of holding a press conference:
Let me see if I've got it. In tough times, the moment calls for a rough grilling by a special interest group eager to see your standing with voters sink. This will permit you to re-gain control of the national agenda and the election campaign-- far more effectively than a leader speaking directly to hearts and minds of the American people.
Make a lot of sense to you? . . .
Read the whole thing, which offers a somewhat more sophisticated take than the above suggests.
UPDATE: He might as well have given a speech. The Washington Post has already posted a past-tense report of the press conference before it's happened:
President Bush sought support for his embattled Iraq policy Tuesday in the face of rising casualties and growing doubts, holding his first prime-time news conference since before the war.
The president also faced questions about whether he ignored warning signs about the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and botched opportunities to eliminate the al-Qaeda network. A memo given to Bush a month before the attacks said Osama bin Laden's supporters were in the United States planning attacks with explosives.
Heh. It's like they've already decided on the storyline or something. . . .