Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post pulled no punches in their front-page article this morning about the challenges currently facing President Bush:
“Rarely has a president confronted as many damaging developments that could all come to a head in this week. A special counsel appears poised to indict one or more administration officials within days. Pressure is building on Bush from within his own party to withdraw the faltering Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers. And any day the death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq will pass the symbolically important 2,000 mark.”
Rarely? I guess 9/11 doesn't count, for regardless of what happens this week, it’s got to be a cakewalk by comparison to the days following the first attacks on this country since Pearl Harbor.
“Although Bush has made this case often, aides hope the public will be more receptive in the aftermath of the apparently successful referendum vote for a new Iraqi constitution, whose official results will be announced this week.”
Apparently successful? It is believed that one million more Iraqis voted in this election than in January’s, and the constitution passed.
Baker and VandeHei then spent some time suggesting that Bush is now stealing lines from former president Clinton, but that he’s really not up to it:
“‘I think I've heard that one before,’ Mark Fabiani, a former Clinton White House lawyer, said with a laugh yesterday. ‘But it comes down to the person. Anybody can deliver the line. The question is: Can you compartmentalize these issues so they don't consume you? And I think Bush's job is more difficult than Clinton's because the questions here go right to the heart of the presidency.’"
Hmmm. "Apparently," in Baker and VandeHei’s view, impeachment proceedings don’t go to the heart of the presidency.