Partisans who have been hoping to hurt President Bush with 9/11 Commission wrangling just made a HUGE mistake. You see, this week, they got what they wished for in that the President finally agreed to allow his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to testify publicly under oath in front of the 9/11 commission. Which brings to mind the old adage, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!
By forcing Dr. Rice to publically testify, they have just given President Bush his own "Richard Clarke moment." How so? Very simple.
When the time drew near for Richard Clarke to publically testify, the media began a frenzy of speculation about what he might say and the ultimate impact his testimony might have on President Bush's reelection efforts. On the day that Richard Clarke testified, he had the attention of a far larger audience than he otherwise would have commanded, which is just what he wanted to help spur book sales. That, and the controversial nature of his testimony have put him all over the airwaves since, right where he wants to be.
Similarly, even before Richard Clarke's public testimony, Dr. Rice was the subject of great speculation by the press. Since Clarke's testimony, speculation has increased exponentially. Because many Democrats, quite a few Republicans, and most of the Media wanted Dr. Rice's public testimony, a massive amount of attention has been focused on her. Its an issue that has been made known all across the world at this point.
This past weekend, Dr. Rice appeared on 60 Minutes and stated that she would love to testify, but that she cannot. Her appearance there helped underscore the important precedent that her public testimony would set. I thought Dr. Rice's points were well made and, thus, the media spin of a stonewalling administration was nicely deflected.
Now, suddenly, she can testify. What a coincidence! The media frenzy has intensified further with speculation on what she might say during her testimony.
At this point, Dr. Rice's upcoming testimony has received at least as much, if not more media attention than Clarke's controversial book. And because Dr. Rice has yet to testify, it gives the media more speculative leeway and makes for a better story. All eyes are now focused on Dr. Rice, and Clarke's new book, as well as his testimony, have taken a back seat.
Very bad move on the part of Democrats if you ask me, but good news for those of us who support the President. Democrats have given the initiative back to President Bush after having just gained it in a major way with Clarke's testimony. And the fact that Dr. Rice is scheduled to appear sometime next week means that Clarke's 15 minutes of fame are rapidly coming to an end.