For all that, though, he got me at "Well ...." Let me explain.
Here's what the transcript said:
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences:Here's how he delivered it:
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, let me explain the differences:That little "well ... [pause] ... " and then the personal "let me explain" following it made him sound remarkably like Ronald Reagan and I think he knew it. He said it with confidence, and the confidence stayed with him through the rest of the speech.
If he can maintain that delivery and that level of solid communication, it will help the war effort as much as the additional troops and the stronger commitment from the Iraqis.
- He took personal responsibility
- He spoke strongly about the intent of our enemy
- He explained a complex situation with clarity
- He reached out to opponents
- He reinforced the military strategy and sent a strong signal to our enemies
- And he did it all with a command presence.
And that fact yielded the one very weak spot in the speech. Instead of quickly dropping the changes to the rules of engagement, he should have taken a moment to say why he wasn't discussing them, in order to build a pre-judging shame to reporters and politicians who push for more information.
Related Tags: Bush, War in Iraq, Bush speech, Surge