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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Politicizing 9/11 Alert

One more on Rudy, who last night said his reaction on 9/11 was "thank God George Bush is president." This reminded me of Jacob Weisberg's 9/11 piece:

The only official I saw who failed to create some sense of reassurance was the president. All he knew how to do was read his statement and offer a prayer. My honest, churlish reaction: I wish Bill Clinton were still the president.

A few weeks later Weisberg wrote:

That comment came at the end of a horrific day, after I was evacuated with my family from our apartment a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. It was hardly a considered comment. Just the same, I almost immediately regretted writing it. It was a small-minded, partisan thing to say at a moment when the president was struggling to deal with a national catastrophe of vast proportion.

He's probably correct (though I disagree with Weisberg's saying he had since decided not to question the president's leadership). Why then can this not go the other way?

While at Slate, I also recommend Tim Noah's "Retract This, Please series on 9/11 commentary and Chris Sullentrop's piece on the early speakers for RNC day one, including the important reminder that, "Now is not the time to be a French Republican."