Friday, November 20, 2009

How considerate of them

White House: No Afghanistan announcement until after Thanksgiving
The Obama administration won't announce its new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan until after Thanksgiving, a White House official confirms to The Cable, and observers and experts close to the discussions see it as the White House's attempt to stage a full and controlled rollout over the week beginning November 30.
In that way, the argument goes, the administration can build more support for the policy, deal quickly with any opposition on Capitol Hill, and then have a more active role in how the story plays out in the media.
The administration isn't going to want to make the announcement and then wait a long time before holding the hearings, because that would make it more difficult to keep the message consistent after the news breaks.

Plus, congressional attention will be diverted that week to the health-care debate in the Senate, distracting some attention from the Afghanistan debate, which may be part of the administration's calculations.
Well how considerate of them. I know they talk about "building support" and "controlling the message" and playing a shell game with Afghanistan and health care, but I'm just glad they decided not to ruin our holiday with a big announcement of a war escalation. I mean you don't want the phrase "40,000 troop increase" to come out on the 26th. Someone might be shocked enough that they might slip on carving the turkey, severing off a finger or two with an electric carving knife, or a clumsy dad might accidentally dump a heaping spoonful of napalm-like sweet potatoes into their lap. And really, without health care reform passed, most people can't afford that expense during the holidays....or ever.

But aren't we forgetting one of the main lessons of the Bush Administration? No, not "don't elect the Bush Administration." I'm talking about their famous maxim of not "rolling out a new product in August", meaning when selling something to America you don't want to make your case too early. Now it seems Obama is going in the other direction, waiting too late to unveil his product. How are people going to be excited about buying a new war escalation if you dump it on them right before Christmas?

You need a slow build, to get them interested and excited, and to make them think they can't live without it. This is Marketing 101. I expected better of you, Barry. Well, I actually expected you not to escalate wars, but if you were going to do it, I thought you'd at least do it in a slicker fashion. At least dazzle me with some showmanship and salesmanship if you're going to make a giant mistake.

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