The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller re-caps President Bush's comments on the war on terror -- his NBC comment saying that he thinks it can't be won, in contrast to past statements that he has a plan to do so. Maybe the shift indicates a departure from the world where no mistakes are admitted. "Analysts said Mr. Bush's comment reflected both foreign policy and political realities, and appeared intended in part to emphasize that even a striking breakthrough, like the capture of Osama bin Laden, would not by itself assure the nation's security." LINK
Mike Allen of the Washington Post reviews Bush's statement, but adds that it is "one in a series of statements he has made in the past few days to lower public expectations and mitigate political problems before he reintroduces himself to the nation Thursday night." LINK
Deb Orin from the trail in New Hampshire has the back and forth over whether or not the United States can win the war on terror. LINK
"Sen. John Edwards charged Monday that President Bush had badly mishandled the war in Iraq and practically abandoned Afghanistan as part of a foreign policy that has alienated many U.S. allies and increased the threat from terrorists," writes the Washington Post's Vanessa Williams. LINK
Michael Kranish writes his own curtain-raiser on President Bush's acceptance speech and gets insight into how Social Security is going to become a centerpiece to his campaign. LINK
"'We demonstrated in 2000 that you can touch the third rail,' White House communications director Dan Bartlett said in an interview, referring to the expression that trying to transform Social Security is a political death wish. 'In 2004, we will ride that third rail. [Bush] is more than willing to talk about it, and he will talk about it at the convention.'"
Republican National Convention: Monday night:
The New York Times' Adam Nagourney wraps the first day of the convention, with the focus on President Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 and the added complication of his comment that the war on terror may never be won. With his mention of John Kerry by name, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani upstaged Sen. John McCain, but the whole Michael Moore reference is sure to keep getting some air play, even though, as the media-savvy Nagourney points out, "The speeches competed for viewers with a preseason Monday Night Football game on ABC and 'Fear Factor' on NBC." LINK
The Washington Post's Dan Balz recaps Day One at the convention Noting, that "Republicans used their opening-night program to recall the powerful mix of emotions that galvanized the nation in the hours and days after the (9/11) attacks." LINK
John Harris of the Washington Post writes that the goal of the convention is to win the present, by recalling the past. LINK
"The aim was to restore the luster of Bush's credentials on national security despite the scuffs these have taken from the problems of the Iraq occupation and handover. It was the political equivalent of reintroducing a famous consumer brand after a season of controversies. In Bush's case, this meant trying to revive public appreciation for what had been his core assets: a reputation for strength and steadfastness against adversaries, even in the face of setbacks."
Rudolph Giuliani remains untarnished since his transformation on Sept. 11, writes Ann Gerhart of the Washington Post. LINK