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Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Storms

Last night, Louisville was hit by a major storm and we lost power at my house for over 15 hours. That explains the blog silence.

I just learned, however, that my latest email exchange with Shelley Emling about the Lord Butler report caused her to quote me in Wednesday's Atlanta Constitution Journal.

Butler, you may have heard, released a report assessing the Blair government's use of intelligence in the UK. Emling asked me how it was likely to play in Washington.
According to some political experts, Blair and Bush are not likely to suffer major repercussions from Butler's report.

"So far, the Bush administration has taken a number of hard hits, but no one yet perceives a knockout punch," said Rodger Payne, an expert on Iraq and international relations at the University of Louisville. "I doubt that many think such a blow will be coming from the UK."
I've noticed she goes for the punchline.

Here's the first part of my email:
I think many in Washington are going to be curious about Butler's report, but few think it is going to mean that much for the administration. The war already poses difficult political problems. You may have noticed that the President campaigned Monday by giving a speech defending the war and the Bush Doctrine. Yet, the latest polls show that over half of Americans think the war was a mistake and worsened terrorism.

Washington insiders are, of course, going to want to compare Butler's findings to the Senate Intelligence Committee's and perhaps to the 9/11 Commission's. Potentially, this kind of "inside baseball" might lead to a bigger story, but it might not be right away. The 500+ page Senate report still hasn't been fully digested from last week.
Hmmm. Anyone see a pattern?

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