Today marks the beginning of the 5th year of the Iraq War, so President Bush came on television and gave a 5 minute update. Gone was all of the theatrics. It was a plain and usual unconvincing plea by GWB to anxious Americans to hold firm because there is progress.
Rhetoric aside, what's clear is that the president looks and sounds a great deal less confident. For a brief moment, he almost looked like a haggard Jimmy Carter during the Iran Hostage Crisis telling us that the problem is real hard but that's he's staying up all hours of the day and night trying to fix the, well, really, really hard problem.
And it doesn't help when GWB tells us that his shiny new commander, General Petraeus, reports that the situation on the ground in Iraq is the hardest he's ever seen in his 32 years in the military.
Clearly, none of this is working with the public. GWB's standing with the American public has sunk to the lows of failed presidents such as Carter and Nixon. Today, only 35% (Gallup Poll) of Americans believe GWB is doing a good job. And it's his handling of the Iraq War that's torpedoed his presidency. According to the latest CNN poll, 61 of Americans now believe that the Iraq War was not worth it, and only 35% support the war.
It seems that GWB and the American voter--and possibly the enemy--are all just now counting down until January 21, 2009.