January 30, 2005

Confined to quarters, soaking up atmospherics.

"Meet the Press" is offering an interview about an election, but it's John Kerry, chewing over last fall's U.S. election. Part of the opening teaser for the interview is "What would he do about Iraq?" – the very question I waited to hear him answer for the entire length of the campaign.

But, before the interview, let's have a little news from Iraq. Ooh, Brian Williams is on the scene, with his eyebrows slanting in the circumflex position of worry and his arms in the akimbo position of scolding. He's just had an interview with Iyad Allawi, who was "obviously expressing great confidence that this is the first day of a new era." Yeah, he would, that Pollyanna, so please, Brian, spread some gloom so we can feel good again about our negativism:
We should back up to the overall feeling here, and that I think most here would agree is a kind of general unease … uh … atmospherically … as we have heard many booms and concussions over the past hour … uh … as we have combined, really, over the past few days. A while back the threat of pedestrian suicide bombers had us confined to quarters. And there has been violence. As of air time this morning, fourteen attacks … thirty-six people dead so far. But, Tim, like the election numbers, those will change, and probably the best way to approach all of the numbers we'll be hearing today – you hear turn out at 72% in one precinct, 50 in another, 4 percent in another is with the same caution we exercise in the states with those now-famous first wave exit polls and other early information. This is probably, it's safe to say at this hour, a fairly unquantifiable election so far.

Good set-up for the Kerry interview. Remember how happy Kerry supporters were for a while when they heard the early numbers last November? So, anti-Bush folks, transform that old November disappointment for some new hope for a disastrous election in Iraq. Don't listen to Allawi, whom Williams got an interview with and immediately brushed aside. Listen to Williams, who is there on the scene, confined to his quarters by the threats of violence that the voters themselves defied. Williams is right there in Iraq, squirrely and squirreled away in his hotel room, where he soaks up "atmospherics." He hears some booms in the distance, so he can tell you first hand about the "general unease."

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