Friday, January 05, 2007


Hmmm, let's see: The congressional Democrats' "first 100 hours" will begin Tuesday -- and what do you know? The president is tentatively scheduled to give his Big Iraq Speech on Wednesday, just as the Dems are getting under way.

And yesterday -- the day the Democrats took control of Congress -- just so happened to be the day when we learned about the upcoming nomination of Zalmay Khalilzad as America's new UN ambassador, the appointment of Mike McConnell to replace outgoing Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte (whose move to the State Department had just been announced), the resignation of Harriet Miers as White House counsel, and the replacement of the top military commander in Iraq and the head of CentCom.

All this just had to happen right now -- not, say, in the period between the November elections and January, when personnel transitions traditionally happen.

Oh, and there was a little execution in Iraq last week, as a table-setter for Bush's Big Speech.

Bush just can't stand it when other people take center stage. Remember this, from the summer of 2003, when Bush was just starting to lose his post-9/11, post-fall-of-Baghdad glow and a genuine movie star was running for governor of California?

President Bush is used to being America's most important politician and the center of attention wherever he goes. So today, when a reporter told Mr. Bush that the California governor's race was "the biggest political story in the country," the president got cranky.

"Oh, I think there's maybe other political stories," Mr. Bush said at his ranch here. "Isn't there, like, a presidential race coming up?" He added that calling the California race the biggest story "speaks volumes, if you know what I mean."

The California election was a couple of months away. The presidential election was more than a year away. But Bush was being upstaged. And he was peeved. He stamped his foot. He said, "Look at me, Mommy!"

It's happening again.

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