Since beginning this blog, I have refrained from doing what my old boss used to do on his radio show (which in my opinion was largely part of why he got that new job over at the White House)… but I’m going to break that streak now to offer some friendly advice.

IF your boss has been getting pummeled in the polls over a largely unpopular war without a clear cut strategy ready to lay out for all the American people to see – THEN FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T PUT THE GUY OUT IN FRONT OF THE PRESS CORPS when he’s coming off 24 straight WH Holiday Parties!

I haven’t seen the President looking so tired, so exhausted and utterly beaten down. His eyes were puffy and unfocused; his speech inconsistently transitioned between a cross of old stump speeches and the honest plea of a man overcome with emotion. Not only did he lack passion, he actually came pretty close to letting loose with his frustration and getting down right angry. Thank God no one asked him “Do I look fat in this dress?”

The irony of all of this is that the only conceivable objective for putting the guy out there would be to “remind people” that we are in a long, difficult war with enemies who seek to break our will. And Willie Loman did little to rally the troops today.

I was particularly struck by how pained and yielding his response was to a reporter who asked about “how painful” it has been lately. Of course it’s painful – good men and women are dying – so correct the question! This isn’t Oprah!! Since when the heck did the NY Times offer a slimmer of compassion to anyone in this Administration? Please tell me we are not headed into 2 final years of a Stockholm syndrome with the WH Press Corps! (Note: he did the same thing in falsely thinking they cared about him during a Wash Post interview yesterday)

Was there any new “news”? No, there wasn’t. There are new stories in the press regarding the President’s new course in Iraq and a “surge” of troops in Iraq . But there was NO news out of the conference. So what purpose was served by doing it?

The response by the Democrats was immediate press releases from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praising the President for “reversing his position” of the last six years and abandoning the failed “Rumsfeld doctrine.” Surely that wasn’t the intended result…

The President said at one point that he wanted the troops “to understand that we support them, that I believe that tough mission I've asked them to do is going to be accomplished, and that they're doing good work and necessary work.”

Well, let actions speak louder than words. Increase the troops, lay out the plan… and then talk to the press.