Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Power of the Commander
NPR offered "analysis" right after Bush's speech last night. The commentators brought on were Tod Lindberg of the Hoover Institution and E.J. Dionne of the Brookings Institution. Given the explicit rightwing tilt of the Hoover Institution and the firmly center-right leanings of the Brookings Institute, it was actually surprising how critical the two guests were of Bush's speech, noting that it was very political when the White House implied it would not be, and criticizing how much it focused on Iraq and not the sorrows of the anniversary.
The real kicker though was David Greene who tends to do a lot of "traveling with the president" for NPR. Michelle Norris asks Greene, "you've spent the day, really two days traveling with the president…, is there anything that really stuck out with you -- a moment that stands out in your mind?" Greene's answer is a stunner and deserves to be quoted in full:
It was striking the power of the commander in chief no matter what the polls are saying, no matter which party, uh the ability to really capture people and become the focus of attention on a day like this, in New York, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon. There were firefighters, there were families of victims who just seemed to be reaching out for someone to give them a sense of mission, for someone to really recognize their sense of loss, and that person was the president.