Rebranding the war on terror

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The most recent rebranding of the Bush administration's war on terror will arrive as a "revamped story line" in a Republican National Committee radio spot by President George W. Bush, according to Howard Fineman in the March 22, 2006, Newsweek. [1]

Based on "rushes", Fineman wrote that the new label is WATITH for the war against terrorists inside the homeland. It "will feature" President Bush "not as Top Gun, but as Top Gumshoe: a mix of Eliot Ness, J. Edgar Hoover and Agent Jack Bauer."

Fineman wrote that "Bush/Bauer’s enemies will be different: not just the terrorists themselves, but also wussie lovers of legalistic niceties that get in the way of investigations and MSM news organizations that focus obsessively on explosions and mayhem in Iraq, even as they print or broadcast classified information and ask nasty, argumentative questions at hastily called press conferences."

"The political message of both was the same," Fineman wrote, "that the Democrats are weak in the WATITH because they balked at renewing the Patriot Act and raised questions about the National Security Agency’s practice, on the president’s secret order, of eavesdropping on some calls and e-mails without a warrant. In the meantime, says the ad, 'President Bush is working to keep American families safe.'"

George W. Bush: The War President

Karl Rove, "producer-director", featured "his leading man as commander in chief on the global battlements. It's a mix of Ike at Normandy, Ronald Reagan in Berlin and Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun'," Fineman wrote.

"But ratings for 'Bush, the War President' have collapsed (something to do with the loss of blood and treasure in Iraq). And Americans don’t like overseas stories in any case," Fineman commented.

U.S. presidential election, 2008

"The rewritten role has another potential advantage," Fineman wrote, "leveling the playing field of the Republican presidential race in 2008, and giving the next GOP standard bearer something to run on other than Iraq. [2]

"If Bush and Rove define the office as a military command, there is only one logical successor available in 2008: Sen. John McCain. And while relations are cordial these days between the White House and the senator, they’re not running the place for his benefit."

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