Howard Kurtz says the “Showdown with Saddam” (yes, it’s a logo now), the blizzard, and the code orange alert have drowned out Bush administration efforts of late to demonstrate the President’s concern for the economy. Another way to look at this: These events offer convenient cover.
There’s no way to manipulate the blizzard (although it can certainly be spun). But the other two events are under the control of the administration’s spinmeisters. We know that Bush’s communications handlers are more than competent; they are some of the best in the business. If they wanted an economics message to reach the public it would indeed reach the public. (That statement makes no suggestions about how the public would/could react to the message, or what he public would/could do with the message, or how the press would/could cover the message.)
No cynicism here. Message control is standard operating procedure. Any President who hopes to lead effectively in this media age must control the message. So if we’re not hearing much about Bush’s economic concerns, if we’re not seeing these staged events, then the reason is because that’s the way the administration wants it.