President Obama’s speech about the Afghanistan troop surge, “for all its thoughtfulness and sporadic eloquence, was a failure at its central mission,” columnist Frank Rich wrote. “On its own terms, as both policy and rhetoric, it didn’t make the case for escalating our involvement in Afghanistan. It’s doubtful that the president’s words moved the needle of public opinion wildly in any direction for a country that has tuned out Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq alike while panicking about where the next job is coming from.”
On the other hand, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote that “to have now a Democratic president surveying essentially the same history and data as his predecessor and coming to the same rough conclusion — we are in a real struggle with bad people, it will go a long time — was encouraging, and seemed to mark a two-party sharing of overall authority and investment. We can continue to fight over how to deal with the struggle, but we agree the struggle is real. This sounds small but is not.”
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