Still Dreaming of a Fantasy Bush
Over at Slate, John Dickerson offers this advice to George Bush about how to revive his sagging popularity:
Bush should put his own prestige on the line by appearing in an unscripted public forum to answer questions about the government's response to the disaster. He should schedule a press conference, or, better yet, a town hall meeting with residents. The directors of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security can join him onstage, if they'd like, but this president who likes bold action should promise that he will be the one doing the talking. George Bush knows that political capital is built by risk. His approval ratings are at their lowest mark. A majority of Americans have doubts about his stewardship of the Iraq war. Standing alone on a stage would be a gamble that could quiet those pesky hand-wringers—"I'll answer your questions soon enough, now grab a shovel"—and provide some kind of psychic relief for the frustrated and helpless stranded miles away from the marinating streets on which they once lived.
This makes Dickerson this year's front-runner in the Tom Friedman Memorial Presidential Fantasy Sweepstakes. If you believe there is a chance that George W. Bush will appear in an unscreened, unscripted public forum to answer questions about Katrina--the same George W. Bush who won't even make campaign appearances before unscreened audiences--then I have some lovely building lots in New Orleans I'd like to sell you . . .