Bush's War (Speech)


President Bush addresses the nation and the world (and Carl Levin) tonight at 9:01 pm ET from the White House library. Without using the word "surge," the President is expected to call for sending 22,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, according to ABC News' Martha Raddatz.

The troop increase is expected to include five additional brigades for Baghdad and one additional brigade for Al Anbard (which will be done by holding a brigade already there that was scheduled to leave). Two brigades are supposed to be in Baghdad in 30 days or more (one is already in Kuwait). The additional three are planned to be phased in over several months.

There will likely be benchmarks for security, but the President reportedly will not tie U.S. troop commitment to benchmarks.

After the speech, Democrats will probably have somebody (perhaps Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)) come to the Senate Gallery and make a response to whatever Bush says and then take questions. On Nightline at 11:35 pm ET, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) will offer his reaction to the President's speech.

Prior to the President's speech tonight, Gen. Wesley Clark joins Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) to discuss the situation in Iraq today at 12:15 pm ET.

You can watch and listen to full coverage of the President's remarks throughout the ABC News universe.

On the traditional television network, ABC News will broadcast President George Bush's address from the White House live at 9 p.m., ET on Wednesday, January 10. Charles Gibson will anchor the network's coverage from New York.

ABC News Radio will also provide extensive coverage, with Gil Gross anchoring and Ann Compton reporting from the White House. Following the speech, ABC News Radio will have analysis from military experts, reaction from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, and additional reporting from Aaron Katersky.

ABCNEWS.com and ABC News Now will also cover the President's speech, starting at 7:30 pm ET on NOW. As part of the coverage, ABCNEWS.com will invite viewers to vote online on the President's plan. The results will be broadcast live on the digital channel and on the website.

ABC News' continuing/continuous coverage of the President's speech continues now, with The Note's pre-game show, previewing the political stakes for Mr. Bush this evening.

With a lot on the line, we asked a diverse group of keen political observers -- ranging mostly from older white men who live in Washington to younger (relatively) white men who also live in Washington -- what the stakes and challenges are for the President tonight. While their views are not as colorful as the pre- and post-game analysis of Terry, Howie, and Jimmy, here's what we found:

David Gergen, adviser to several presidents of both parties: "The President has to walk a real tightrope tonight."

Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute: "This is Bush's last chance to make his case, and, frankly, it might already be too late."

Charlie Cook, independent political analyst from the Cook Political Report: "The danger for the President is that the country has stopped listening to him on Iraq. This is a very, very hard sell."

Stuart Rothenberg, independent political analyst from the Rothenberg Political Report: "Republicans want Iraq off the table by the end of this year, but the White House just doesn't seem to get it."

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