May 21, 2005

THE MRS. IN '08?:

President Sends His Very Best: Solo Mission to Mideast Further Raises Laura Bush's Profile (Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker, May 21, 2005, Washington Post)

She will tour the pyramids of Egypt and pay respects at Israel's Western Wall, check out the local library and give a high-profile speech here. But as Laura Bush makes her way across the Middle East in the next few days, perhaps her most important mission will be trying to repair America's suffering image abroad.

"We've had terrible happenings that really, really hurt our image of the United States," she said as she launched a five-day solo diplomatic mission to this volatile region on Friday. "People in the United States are sick about it. They're very sorry that that's the image that people in the Arab world got of the United States."

These days, the Bush administration increasingly is turning to one of its most popular envoys to the nation and to the outside world. From late-night comedienne to international goodwill ambassador, Laura Bush has emerged from the first-term bubble of the East Wing to carve out a more prominent role in her husband's second term, finding an independent voice that at times has even diverged somewhat from the official White House line. [...]

The Middle East trip is Laura Bush's second foreign journey without her husband in recent months. It follows a quick visit to Afghanistan in March, when she expressed solidarity with a country still fighting Islamic radicals who segregate women.

In an interview with Fox News before leaving Washington, she said Americans will see more of her in the second term. Little wonder, given polls showing her far more popular than her husband, scoring approval ratings of 80 percent or higher, compared with his numbers in the mid-40s.

She's obviously a better successor than Dick Cheney.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 21, 2005 8:59 PM

Bush/Bush in '08!

Posted by: Just John at May 22, 2005 3:08 AM

Laura/Condi '08 -- girls rule!

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 22, 2005 9:02 AM

Well that would keep up the conservative tradition of running a figurehead that appeals to people, while the real work & governance goes on behind the scenes (e.g. Regan, Schwarzenegger, Gopher from The Loveboat, Sonny Bono, Bush II).

However, given Bush's truly abysmal popularity ratings (43%, only 1 higher than Johnson's AFTER Tet) the way the vast majority of American's side with the Dems on the nuclear option, the political fallout from the Schiavo debacle, the on-going train wreck that is social security privatization, it looks like not even Roger Ailes can put enough makeup on this pig.

Posted by: Jackson at May 22, 2005 3:29 PM


None of that stuff matters--it's just gas prices.

Posted by: oj at May 22, 2005 3:38 PM

I'd love to see Condi Rice on the ticket. But Cheney at the top might make more sense.

Posted by: J Baustian at May 22, 2005 11:52 PM

Cheney isn't going to run for President.

Even if he weren't the resident Dr. Evil, he's already had four heart attacks.
Plus, he's already had about as much influence on American policy that any non-President can have, and far more than most, so it's unlikely that he feels that there's more that he could do to change things to his liking.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 23, 2005 3:31 AM