Bush Should Stick to His 'A' Game

I'd like to take credit for this because it appears the president has started listening to me and I'm anxious to see how it works out.

Many of you have written to say I'm out of line for analyzing the president's situation in such a way as to sound like criticism of him.

War in Iraq numbers are down. Approval rating down, then up, but still not above water.

Fire Michael Brown (search), show some hurricane concern, etc.

But I've also traced the president's political weakness back to his decision after the election to go whole hog on Social Security reform.

I could have told him after the second week — in fact, I think I did — that it might be a good idea, but nobody's listening.

My business is to figure out what people are paying attention to and Social Security was a snore — people promptly went to sleep.

But the president stuck to his guns, spent 60 days talking up Social Security and hardly mentioned the war. In fact, both he and I said that question was decided by the election.

Well we were both wrong. The left kept the question alive — along with Zarqawi (search) — and while Bush was talking about something else, they turned his numbers around on him.

As of now, Bush has been kicked around so much he and his team have finally figured out it's time to go back to their "A" game. Bush's "A" game is War on Terror, Iraq, etc.

So out of the blue Thursday morning, he's giving a War on Terror speech. Why? Because it's what he's good at and it's time to go back to your strengths.

This is good. The president needs to pay attention to Katrina and Rita rebuilding. But the big bet of his administration was and is Iraq. It's where he is comfortable in his rhetoric — and good. We should be paying attention to what's going on there.

We sent a lot of young Americans there to do a job. The president focused again on what they're doing will focus the attention of a lot of other Americans on that job.

Bush shouldn't run from it, he should engage it every day. For better or worse, Iraq is his legacy and he has an enormous interest in making sure it turns out well and the country supports him.

That's My Word.

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