October 17, 2004

Read one Thing

Forty democratic senators were gathered for a lunch in March just off the Senate floor. I was there as a guest speaker. Joe Biden was telling a story, a story about the president. ''I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,'' he began, ''and I was telling the president of my many concerns'' -- concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. '''Mr. President,' I finally said, 'How can you be so sure when you know you don't know the facts?''

Biden said that Bush stood up and put his hand on the senator's shoulder. ''My instincts,'' he said. ''My instincts.''

Biden paused and shook his head, recalling it all as the room grew quiet. ''I said, 'Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough!''

If you read just one thing today, read Ron Suskin's Without a Doubt.

It takes in all that should worry you about how the President acts. So read all about it and start to worry.

A regent I spoke to later and who asked not to be identified told me: ''I'm happy he's[Bush} certain of victory and that he's ready to burst forth into his second term, but it all makes me a little nervous. There are a lot of big things that he's planning to do domestically, and who knows what countries we might invade or what might happen in Iraq. But when it gets complex, he seems to turn to prayer or God rather than digging in and thinking things through. What's that line? -- the devil's in the details. If you don't go after that devil, he'll come after you.''

You can worry, but you don't have to despair. You can do something about it. Joe Biden, who tells the story in the first quote is an even money contender to be Secretary of State in a Kerry administration. The vote will matter. Find that lazy liberal friend of yours and drag them down to the County Clerks office and register their ass. Go. You got till close of business Monday. Go.

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