Monday, December 18, 2006

Odd Coincidences for “Person of the Year”?

Could several recent actions taken by Republican and Democratic leaders have been prompted by this blogger? First President Bush flip-flopped on the date for his new way forward in Iraq.

On December 8th White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said the recommendations may be ready “before the end of the year”. While not expressly in the President’s radio address on Iraq, somehow the White House indicated a pre-Christmas unveiling over that weekend.

On December 9th I shared my concern regarding Dr. Robert Gates’ chance to give meaningful input into the new way forward in Iraq, especially given the President’s moving forward of the announcement date to before Christmas. It didn’t seem the new Defense Chief would have time to meet with commanders on the ground in Iraq before forming his strategy as represented to the Congressional approval committee.

On December 12th the Bush team moved the date back to give Dr. Gates a chance to offer advice. Apparently the President didn’t factor in his new Defense Chief’s advice when he moved the date forward. The White House Press corps picked this up in their December 11th conference with Tony Snow. Whether it resulted from my Dec. 9th e-mail or the press gaggle two days later, the White House adjusted course.

The second odd timing concerned Democratic Senator Evan Bayh’s dropping out of Presidential contention December 16th. Just the day before, I’d written him regarding his wife’s substantial investment income from WellPoint, a large health insurance company. With a $1.2 million gain from exercising stock options over a year and a half, I pondered any impact on the Senator’s health care stands.

It turns out Evan favors “affordable health insurance for all Americans” and offered distinctly Republican free market, health insurance solutions. That Susan Bayh serves on the same board with President Bush’s Uncle Bucky seemed too much of a coincidence.

Did Evan drop out of consideration to allow time for this to become “un-news”? His two week long Presidential exploration likely was pruned by something, the question is what?

Odd coincidences, or can one blogger make a difference in the world? Time Magazine thinks so as We are their “People of the Year”.

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