President Bush delivered a very good speech today.
He said, “Our goal remains a free and democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself, and is an ally in this war on terror.”
Bush talked about working with the new secretary of defense, Bob Gates, to permanently expand the size of both the United States Army and the United States Marines – this is another idea from John McCain’s playbook coming home to roost.
Later on in his speech, he talked about not giving up on the “hundreds of millions of ordinary moms and dads across the Middle East who want the hope and opportunity for their children that the terrorists and extremists seek to deny them.”
He reminded Americans that the “advance of liberty has never been easy” and that we cannot afford to give up in Iraq.
Later on, Bush changed course and discussed keeping the strong U.S. economy growing and the need for further tax and regulatory relief.
He touted the U.S. economy’s extraordinary growth, highlighted by a historically low 4.5 percent unemployment rate and 7 million jobs added since August of 2003.
Notably, Bush also said he would work with Congress to reduce the number of earmarks and reform the earmark process to make it more transparent and accountable. This is obviously a positive development - long overdue, but very positive.
President Bush is on target on the war and the economy.
We still have work left to do in Iraq while the Goldilocks economy remains the greatest story never told.