Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Re-invigorating lame ducks

It's too late for Tony, whose administration gives of a discernible whiff of decay and death, but is it too late for George Bush? Fred Barnes offers a programme of administrative and government reform that would certainly shake up the beltway and make the Bush presidency a story of possibilities rather than missed opportunity.

Barnes proposes replacing Rumsfeld with Cheney, Cheney with Rice and Rice with Lieberman. I'm not well up enough on American politics to know how often a Secretary of State comes from a different party to the President, but I'm guessing it's not often. But it would be a shrewd move by the President - Lieberman is coming to look liike a coalition of one within a Democrat Party that is in danger of sacrificing permanently any claim to a responsible foreign policy. By detaching him Bush would make the Dems more extreme and deprive them of a centrist figure. It would also be a demonstration of the Democrats political re-alignment of the last 6 years - a figure who ran as V-P candidate no longer feels at home in his own party.

Creating a narrative has become the most important element of Government press publicity. Blairism created its own momentum, and was then carried along for years on the back of a narrative of modernity and vigour that has only now turned. Cameron has devoted much of his effort to creating a narrative of drive,youth and transformation - and has succeeded up to a point.

If Bush is to re-invigorate a flagging second term,such a grand gesture might well be needed. The appointment of Rice would act as a public anointment of a successor - an important step, but one that might obviate the possibility of a damaginglydivisive primary season for 2008. The danger of inaction is to give off an atmosphere of inertia - and provide the American press with the easiest storyof all - that of a lame duck President.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 days without a post - where is your rant at Gordon and his appalling Budget?!

10:01 am  

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