GW likes to talk about how he doesn’t care about polls, but he clearly cares about his legacy. He once stated something to the effect that sometime long after we’re all dead, people will realize how good he really was. Put another way… he’s concerned about polls, just not necessarily the ones of people who around today.
Now… even if the Surge is working, Iraq can’t exactly be described as going well. Afghanistan is a collection of autonomous fiefdoms run by warlords and fanatics where the handpicked democratically elected leader gets to call the shots in a 20 mile radius around Kabul (assume he doesn’t call those shots in ways contradicting the desire of American forces), the Taliban considers itself strong enough to ignore any and all overtures, and drug production is insanely high. The economy has been average in his best years, and there are signs of a downturn. And those are just the big ticket items.
Now, GW may not be a smart man, and he may not be an informed man, but he can’t be stupid and misinformed enough not to see this hasn’t exactly been a successful presidency so far. Turning around one or two of these big ticket items, assuming he’s capable of doing it, won’t be enough to create a positive legacy. His father, who had a major success (i.e., Gulf War 1) akin to one of GW’s failures, nevertheless isn’t all that well-regarded, even by Republicans.
Which raises the question… what do you do when you hold by far the smallest chip stack at the table, and the blinds are going up? (The Ex-GF loves poker tournaments – that at Starbucks seem to be here only vices – so I’m starting to pay a bit of attention to the game.) You keep doing what you’re doing, but you look for any opportunity to make a big move – sliding your chips forward and stating “All in!” That probably explains all the rumors we were hearing about Iran for a while. But Iran is just a bluff – the troops aren’t there to do anything in Iran, and there’s no way in heck GW’s going all in over Iran. And a bluff only works when the other players don’t know its a bluff.
Which raises the question… will GW have an all in? If so, what’s it going to be?