Condi on 60 Minutes
First, Clarke: once again, very clear and compelling (I particularly liked this statement.) I also thought Russert was pretty easygoing throughout and let Clarke give detailed answers.
This evening, Dr. Rice was on 60 Minutes to attempt to rebut Clarke’s charges. It was the same spin that you’ve heard before: no plan, we were focused on terrorism and al Qaeda from day one, and so on. But at one point, Dr. Rice did say something interesting:
When we went to Camp David to plan our response to the al Qaeda attack, it was a map of Afghanistan that was rolled out on the table. It was Afghanistan that became the focus of the American response. And Iraq was put aside.
“And Iraq was put aside”? Put aside from what? I thought the administration said Paul O’Neill was lying or mistaken when he said the administration had plans for Iraq from day one? Or did Rice mean that Iraq was in fact the focus during the period from 9/11 to the Camp David meeting and only then were the Iraq plans put aside (which is basically what Clarke charged)? Seriously, I’d like to know what she meant by this.
UPDATE: In a post titled Clarke Revelations Take Their Toll, Ruy T. reports a slew of bad numbers for Bush, including this:
A just-released Newsweek poll has Bush’s approval rating on handling terrorism and homeland security down to 57 percent, a sharp decline from 70 percent two months ago. It is also significant that this rating is down in the 50’s–Bush’s ratings on terrorism, homeland security and related issues have been steadily in the 60’s or above in this and other public polls for a very long time.