Victoria.Now, the next question is very interesting in terms of Tony's first thought the slips past his lips. Read it and think to yourself the following: What does the sentence "We understand the political process" mean exactly? Could this spell the end of Condi's term as a W appointee?
Q Senator Chuck Hagel yesterday said that the President should appoint a statesman of global stature, experience and ability to serve as his personal envoy to the region, who would report directly to the President. What is the President's reaction to that? It seems to implicate that perhaps he doesn't have very much confidence in Secretary Rice.
MR. SNOW: The President does. (Laughter.) Mike.
Q Are you concerned that a senior Republican senator does not have confidence in Secretary Rice?Now I don't know about you, but the amount of cash we American taxpayers have been dolling out to support Israel seems to buy us a bit more credibility with the Israelis than suggesting that those who disagree with the W, Rove and Co mean we simply want our government to "kick the can down the road."
MR. SNOW: We understand the political process. The President right now -- I'm not going to get into characterizing it, but the President has full confidence. And it would be interesting to ask Senator Hagel what he -- because he was not specific about it. You didn't give me a specific characterization. You're trying to draw a conclusion from his comments. I'm not sure he's ready to draw that conclusion, but if he is, okay.
Q He gave a few names, however. He gave --
MR. SNOW: Well, no, I appreciate that. But, again, Secretary Rice is -- let me make a point, because it's worth making the point that, again, the United States has achieved significant diplomatic -- has had significant diplomatic achievements on the North Korean front, on the Iranian front, and soon with the Middle East. That is a demonstration of effective diplomacy, in difficult times, when people would sometimes rather just kick the can down the road.
We've been addressing it and we've gotten allies to go along -- and in some cases allies who, in the past, have not spoken out on these issues. That, to me, is exactly the definition of effective diplomacy, and that's one of the reasons why the President has so much confidence.
WTF? Is this guy for real? Yup. It's all a part of the W, Rove and Co. political parlor trick play book that they execute with the American people such that they shell-game with us and suggest that if anyone else play politics; we are the bad lumps in your morning oatmeal.
But I digress. In this last question, which is a very good one I might point out, ask yourself the following: Does the reporter get a satisfactory answer?
Q I was going to ask one other question about Senator Hagel, because he made a point that a lot of other foreign policy experts have been making in recent days, which is that the United States has not been deeply enough engaged in trying to solve the Arab-Israeli problem, and they see that as sort of coming back to haunt the administration. And I'm just curious about what your reaction to that is.Ah, looks like a definitive "nope" on the last point.
MR. SNOW: I understand that. I would count that as observing from the sidelines, rather than reporting from the front lines.