Monday, May 08, 2006

Fertile Crescent Talking Points

In anticipation of Bush's poll numbers flopping into the '20s, efforts have been implemented by the White House to stir up support in the ranks of the nation's ... farmers, I guess:
Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department.

"The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.
Now, USDA's communications director, Terri Teuber, attempted to indicate that, clearly, this message was received by a few for whom it was not intended, apparently with the need to assauge concerns that food stamp recipients won't be endlessly subjected to "news" about progress in Iraq. Teuber's implication that the USDA should not have been a recipient of such White House advice was given lie when another email charged its way through the internets that "contains specific examples of GWOT messages within agriculture speeches ...". The email further indicates that these talking points are to be used "as often as possible" and that speechifiers should send the USDA's director of speechwriting a weekly summary of all the good news about Iraq that had been doled out to hapless victims of USDA speeches (click through to the WaPo article to see a pdf file containing these "suggestions").

Despite White House instructions to combine discussions of bovine spongiform encephalitis and Iraq reconstruction efforts, Bush's poll numbers today are dangling dangerously close to dreaded Nixonian approval territory. A USA Today poll has Bush's approval rating at 31%.
President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.
But wait! Iraq is the historical seat of agricultural development and your business as farmers stems directly from this fine country that the great George Bush is determined to rebuild.

Hey, that is easy.


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