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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

On the Making of Cheap Political Points: A Master Class 

Via Talking Points Memo:
President's latest response to the tsunami tragedy: badmouth Bill Clinton.

From the Post ...

Earlier yesterday, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was confident he could monitor events effectively without returning to Washington or making public statements in Crawford, where he spent part of the day clearing brush and bicycling. Explaining the about-face, a White House official said: "The president wanted to be fully briefed on our efforts. He didn't want to make a symbolic statement about 'We feel your pain.' "

Many Bush aides believe Clinton was too quick to head for the cameras to hold forth on tragedies with his trademark empathy. "Actions speak louder than words," a top Bush aide said, describing the president's view of his appropriate role.

Actions speak louder than words? Actions?
For those of you who want links with your moral outrage, here's one from the New York Times. The article explains that the Bush administration required public shaming (a UN official accused the US of being "stingy") before it would pledge aid at levels around those pledged by Japan and the UK.

Al-Jazeera, predictably, is attempting to make anti-American hay with this story (but oddly seems to be giving France, whose pledged aid so far is only 100,000 Euros (!), a pass).

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