‘It looks like we are coming out of the recession,’ Stephanopoulos said. ‘Wages are starting to go up. Productivity is starting to go up. Generally if you look at polls across the country people respect President Bush even when people don’t agree with his policies. He has an amazingly strong hold on the Republican party. He’s not going to have a primary opponent. I think when you add all that up it puts President Bush in a very strong position going into the next election.’
Stephanopoulos said he expects the campaign will occur during a good economy and that national security will be the biggest campaign issue, something Democrats classically have had a hard time with. He was especially discouraged by front-runner Howard Dean’s campaign based on antiwar outrage, believing Americans will prefer Republican optimism.
“I was meeting with Bush officials today,” Stephanopoulos said, “and they were salivating to run against Howard Dean so they can accuse him of raising taxes.”
The Daily Northwestern:


Damon Lynch — minister, Cincinnati city council candidate, and one of the leaders of the idiotic boycott of Cincinnati — is upset. Posters have started popping up in Over-the-Rhine showing a “dramatization” of Lynch shaking hands with rich white man, Reds owner, and banana barron Carl Lindner and claiming that Lindner endorses Lynch. Lynch is livid over this, calling it political dirty tricks and slander. The fact that he thinks being endorsed by Carl Lindner is slander either says something disturbing about his racial politics or it says something about just how much people don’t want to be associated with the Reds.
–UPDATE: Cincinnati Blog has a picture.


Thomas Friedman has a must read piece in the NY Times on how Iraq is not Vietnam.

What to do? The first thing is to understand who these people are. There is this notion being peddled by Europeans, the Arab press and the antiwar left that “Iraq” is just Arabic for Vietnam, and we should expect these kinds of attacks from Iraqis wanting to “liberate” their country from “U.S. occupation.” These attackers are the Iraqi Vietcong.
Hogwash. The people who mounted the attacks on the Red Cross are not the Iraqi Vietcong. They are the Iraqi Khmer Rouge


‘Liberation is at hand. Liberation– the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions,’ Clark wrote in a London Times column (4/10/03). ‘Already the scent of victory is in the air.’ Though he had been critical of Pentagon tactics, Clark was exuberant about the results of ‘a lean plan, using only about a third of the ground combat power of the Gulf War. If the alternative to attacking in March with the equivalent of four divisions was to wait until late April to attack with five, they certainly made the right call.’

“The campaign in Iraq illustrates the continuing progress of military technology and tactics, but if there is a single overriding lesson it must be this: American military power, especially when buttressed by Britain’s, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on? Don’t try! And that’s not hubris, it’s just plain fact.”


Here’s another fast-accelerating meme: the president led the American public to believe that the post-war reconstruction of Iraq would be easy, he never anticipated these problems, and can only blame himself for not lowering expectations. The one true aspect of this seems to me to be the gratuitous symbolism of the USS Lincoln landing and that hubristic banner: ‘Mission Accomplished.’ I think I’ve been proved right about the over-reach there. But rhetorically, it’s fair for the White House to point out that the president did indeed warn about the post-war.

He goes on to give quotes to illustrate it.
On the “Mission Accomplished” banner, personally I don’t see what the big honkin’ deal is. The crew wanted a banner saying their mission was accomplished. The White House provided the banner. So what? There mission was accomplished. They were on their way home. So now we need to attack Bush because he said the crew put it up when the truth is simply that the crew wanted it put up? There are plenty of things you can criticize Bush about, but about not being sure of the origins of one particular banner at one particular photo-op? I mean, come on…