All disquiet on West Wing front. Thomas DeFrank of The NY Daily News writes: Embattled White House aides have begun to believe President Bush must take the reins personally if his evaporating agenda and credibility are to be salvaged.
"We're just plodding along," admitted a senior Bush aide from deep within the West Wing bunker. "It's up to the President to turn things around now." [ruh-roh]
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"The staff basically still has an unyielding belief in the wisdom of what they're doing," a close Bush confidant said. "They're talking to people who could help them, but they're not listening."
Two sources said Bush has not only lost some confidence in his top aides, as the Daily News has previously reported, but is furious with a stream of leaks about the mood within the West Wing.
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A card-carrying member of the Washington GOP establishment with close ties to the White House recently encountered several senior presidential aides at a dinner and came away shaking his head at their "no problems here" mentality.
"There is just no introspection there at all," he said in exasperation. "It is everybody else's fault - the press, gutless Republicans on the Hill. They're still in denial."
Surprised? The article notes that Team Bush hopes that the Alito nomination and "a plan to reinforce the border with Mexico to help stop illegal immigration" will detract from the war and the Plame investigation. Yes, they are delusional, but they are still in power. Scary, no? How long will it be before W unravels before our eyes? My friend John thinks it is just a matter of time because, among other things, W isn't exactly an introspective guy and he hates being questioned. Look at his political strategy: never admit a mistake, stick by your decision no matter what (until you have no choice and then spin the change as consistent with your original position), ignore other points of view and trash anyone who disagrees with you. I'm thinking that some time in the near future, after another damaging memo is leaked or a scathing story is written about the war (or the Plame matter or an Abramoff revelation), W will be asked a direct question by a member of the press during one of his many vacations and he will just snap. You know what I mean. After a strenuous brush cutting session or yet another round of golf, a hapless reporter will ask a question and W will get really snippy or, crossing my fingers, he will let go with a string of epithets that will be heard live (and taped/saved by enterprising blogs) and the great unraveling will begin. The question is when. Any thoughts?