Clear, confident, substantive. There was nothing in it that we and our readers didn’t already know, but the message is one that many rarely hear. And the networks all carried it after all. That’s good; President Bush nearly always does well when people see him, instead of seeing Democrats talking about him, as they will on the evening news.
The only thing I thought was odd was the unnatural quiet in the hall. It was like the audience at a Presidential debate, which has been cautioned not to express approval or disapproval. Only at the end, apparently, were the soldiers permitted to applaud.
The touch of emotion at the end was genuine and powerful. His appeal to Americans’ pride and determination resonated, no doubt, with many who haven’t spent much time understanding the strategic underpinnings of the conflict.
UPDATE: Transcript is here.
FURTHER UPDATE: The Associated Press reports on soldiers’ reaction to the President’s speech:
In the gymnasium at Fort Bragg, Staff Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf