It is so hard to predict what will become of the paperback document (and the nine months of work by 10 public servants that went into it) and tonight we'll look back on the week and try to look forward to what might come next. Given the seemingly insatiable desire among some in Washington to reflexively attack anything new -- insisting on finding party lines to define it -- the odds might be longer than some might think.
Also tonight, and in no particular order: Taco Bell, hand grenades, jobs, housing, and foul shots. The latter refers to our Friday night "Making a Difference" segment. And, as Andrea Mitchell has done so beautifully on this blog today, we'll remember Jeane Kirkpatrick.
RANDOM NOTES FOLLOW-UP/OFF TO A SHAKY START
It was nice to see that one of the first e-mails posted following my comments yesterday on sloppy e-mails... was addressed to "brain." So there's that.
And I wasn't going to do this, and forgive me, but one more word here on Katrina and its victims: Anyone attacking this news organization for not paying enough attention to the topic has simply not been watching this broadcast -- beginning with the Sunday evening before Katrina hit, and continuing through this evening. Our most recent story on Katrina's victims is airing tonight. It's coming out of our New Orleans bureau... the very bureau we set up to continue to cover this disaster across that region of the country.
After some newsroom deliberation, we aired videotape earlier this week of President George H.W. Bush getting emotional while giving a speech to the Florida Legislature. It was a speech about his son, Gov. Jeb Bush. There is an enormous well of good feeling in this country for the former president, and anyone who has watched him at all closely knows: he is a very emotional man. Positively mushy, in fact... which some find a huge part of his charm. But when is a piece of videotape just a piece of videotape? Was there another dynamic at work when President Bush broke down during this specific speech? Peggy Noonan artfully proffered a theory of her own on the Wall Street Journal Web site this morning:
"Think of what a loaded moment in history it was for Bush the elder. Barely more than a day after he spoke, the Iraq Study Group's report would be issued. It was chaired by his old friend, the one with whom he'd discussed serious things years ago only after the kids, George and Jeb and the others, left the room.
Surely Mr. Bush knew -- surely he was first on James Baker's call list -- that the report would not, could not, offer a way out of a national calamity, but only suggestions, hopes, on ways through it. To know his son George had (with the best of intentions!) been wrong in the great decision of his presidency -- stop at Afghanistan or move on to Iraq? -- and was now suffering a defeat made clear by the report; to love that son, and love your country, to hold these thoughts, to have them collide and come together -- this would bring not only tears, but more than tears."
-- Peggy Noonan, WSJ.com OpinionJournal, Dec. 8, 2006
We'll leave it at that. Wishing you all a good weekend, I hope you will join us for our Friday night broadcast.