The Moose notes that the President got bit by the blowback on his backdrop.
What is the sound of one hand clapping? That is the question that haunts the President's Iraq speech. While the Administration hoped that the military backdrop would bolster his backing, it bit him (with apologies about the alliteration).
Whether by orders or by inclination, the soldiers in attendance only applauded once during the speech - and that time might have been prompted by a White House staffer. Today's New York Times,
"So the silence during his speech was more than a little noticeable, both on television and in the hall. On Wednesday, as Mr. Bush's repeated use of the imagery of the Sept. 11 attacks drew bitter criticism from Congressional Democrats, there was a parallel debate under way about whether the troops sat on their hands because they were not impressed, or because they thought that was their orders...
"Terry Moran, an ABC News White House correspondent, said on the air on Tuesday night that the first to clap appeared to be a woman who works for the White House, arranging events. Some other reporters had the same account, but Captain Earnhardt and others in the back of the room say the applause was started by a group of officers."
Thus was born the theory of the lone clapper.
The President would have been better served by having Tom Cruise present the Administration's case on the Today show. Next time, Mr. President, speak to us from the Oval Office - that is what it is for. --