BUSH DOUBLES DOWN: I just watched Bush's speech. Nothing new there for anyone who's been paying attention to the speeches he's been giving over the past couple of weeks. But one big thing struck me: In this national televised speech, Bush went out of his way to take responsibility for the war. He repeatedly talked about "my decision to invade Iraq," even though, of course, it was also Congress's decision. He made very clear that, ultimately, this was his war, and the decisions were his.
Why did he do that? Because he thinks we're winning, and he wants credit. By November 2006, and especially November 2008, he thinks that'll be obvious, and he wants to lay down his marker now on what he believed -- and what the other side did. That's my guess, anyway.
UPDATE: Ian Schwartz has video of the speech. Here's the transcript. (Part Two here). And here is a reaction, and advice for Bush, from Lorie Byrd of PoliPundit.
And, yes, the hounds don't seem to have made an impression.
Still more here. And proud Bush-hater Jonathan Chait writes: "I am not, to say the least, a fan of President Bush. But a portion of his speech tonight genuinely moved me and made me think more highly of him."
Gateway Pundit: "After Only 1,000 Days, Bush Takes Credit for Iraq." See the timeline.