RoVak: "Bush is not .. capable of reaching oratorical heights"
(image via CNN)
Our favorite Dickensian villain. Robert Novak, a staunch Supply-Side Republican if there ever was one, turns against President Bush with a profund violence. We thought good old "Rovak" was only capable of showing that much spleen to his old archenemy, John McLaughlin. From the ChicagoSun-Times:
"Bush's strategy was to delay any mention of the war against terrorism until 23 minutes into a 50-minute speech. That brought him to Iraq, an issue where he steadily has been losing support.
"He began the speech with complicated proposals on issues that polls show ordinary citizens care about: energy, health care and education.
"These proposals had been crafted by the president's bureaucracy, and they did not stir lawmakers on either side of the aisle. In the Democratic-controlled Congress, the proposals have no practical chance of success, though the president intended his program to be 'non-confrontational' and perhaps acceptable to some Democrats.
"Bush is not a president capable of reaching oratorical heights, and he did not even try."
Wee, the President has the consolation that Novak delievered this particularly stinging bitchsmack via the pen and not in person as the distinguished Sun-Times scribe tends to Spray it rather than say it.
David Gergen, advisor to what seems like every President since Warren Harding was equally blunt about the utter lack of rhetorical power to the SOTU (We have agonized over Bush's lack of Communication as well) From "Arianna Huffington": "'This is nuts! It's just crazy to me.' That was the Machiavellian David Gergen's assessment of the Bush administration's failure to use diplomacy to confront the looming Iran nuclear crisis (he is clearly far more unplugged in Davos than he is on CNN).
"We were wrapping up our early morning panel, taking a look ahead at the key economic and political issues on America's horizon. Our fellow panelists were Nicholas Kristof and Jay Nordlinger. Paul Laudicina moderated.
"Gergen started off the session by evaluating Bush's State of the Union on the two criteria Aristotle said are essential to a great speech, logos and pathos (logic and emotion). He thought the problem with the speech was that it was light on pathos. I thought it was light on pathos, too -- but utterly devoid of even a wisp of logos."