TITLE

NOTEBOOK

PUB. DATE
April 2004
SOURCE
New Republic;4/26/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 15, p8
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The author claims that the administration of President George W. Bush has so far failed to defend the decision to have Vice President Dick Cheney accompany Bush when he appears before the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. At his Tuesday night press conference, Bush justified appearing with Cheney as follows: "Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us. And I'm looking forward to answering them." That was it. What was remarkable about the White House's insistence that President Bush could appear before the 9/11 Commission only with Vice President Dick Cheney at his side, however, is its apparent inability to come up with any defense whatsoever. Indeed, the most expansive answer so far offered for the dual appearance was given by designated spinner Karen Hughes on NBC's "Meet the Press" the previous week."I'm not sure what the rationale specifically was," she said, "but I think the White House believes that it is an effective use of their time." Effective use of their time? That's the opposite of the truth. Appearing together consumes an hour of time from each of Bush and Cheney; separate appearances would take up the same amount of time while allowing each to answer twice as many questions. The most revealing part of Hughes's answer, though, was her initial response that she didn't know what the rationale was. If the famously on-message Hughes doesn't know the party line, there is no party line.
ACCESSION #
12860641

 

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