POTUS: Doesn’t even know us, as it turns out

POTUS they don't even know us.jpg…because the thrust of his speech was “Iraq is worth the sacrifice” and according to polls and reports more and more Americans are thinking “no, it’s not.”

The big criticism seems to be his stubborn linking of Iraq and 9/11, continuing to use the language of terror to refer to the present-day situation in Iraq (“Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists.”) Apparently even the handpicked audience of soldiers a Fort Bragg gave the speech a muted reception; even the one smattering of applause was apparently started by a Bush staffer trying to pump up the crowd (Fox’s Brit Hume called it “respectful” and later reported that the crowd was ordered not to cheer).

But beyond that none of this was really new, or news per se, which is probably why the networks waffled about carrying it (they all did — it was a presidential address, after all). What is news: new FNC talking head General Wesley Clark responds to the speech on Brit Hume, who doesn’t interrupt. He lauds the troops, leads with the Cheney insurgency-is-over non sequitur and says that “the President chose to have America fight this war” but, now that we’re in, we’ve gotta finish it right. He’s gentler to the administration here than he is here. New voice on Fox; interesting to see how much airplay they give him.

Text of Bush’s Speech at Fort Bragg [NYT]