VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, we're not just inside the Beltway, George. I think there is interest in this country as more and more comes out if he's going to pursue what he wants to pursue in terms of his agenda.
LIZ CHENEY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I would imagine listening to Katrina that you would agree, then, that the president ought to declassified the memos the vice president's asked for, so the American people can see the effectiveness of this program. And I think the president deserves some credit for coming to the right place on military commissions and on the photos. But I do think it gives the American people some pause to sort of have watched the stops and starts here. The president on Guantanamo second day in office announces it's going to be closed before I think he had a real understanding and a handle on what the alternatives would be and how difficult it would be.
And with the pictures, I think also, you saw again, an announcement they would be released, and then having to walk that back, and even an admission, frankly, that he hadn't looked at the pictures before announcing they'd be released. And I think on issues that have to do with national security and war and peace, the American people would like to see a little bit more consistency in terms of their commander-in-chief.
STEPHANOPOULOS: George, the White House is obviously sensitive this charge on flip-flopping, but does it matter if you're going to end up in a place where you are going to get a lot of support?
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: First of all if you say my generals said I shouldn't release, it would cause a spike and the president says, OK, I won't release it. I think as George pointed out, that was something he said during the campaign. We would be awfully uncomfortable as Democrats if he were releasing these pictures tomorrow and it was these things that General Petraeus and Secretary Gates and the new commander coming into Afghanistan, General McChrystal, would've said let's don't do this. So let me tell you, as a Democrat I'm very happy that he decided to listen to his commanders. And it may very well be that as it winds its way through the courts the courts will release them anyway. I don't know.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, and maybe part of the calculation is they are going to come out eventually. But we're at a critical time in Iraq now as troops are moving out of the cities, we're heading towards elections. And Afghanistan, the timing here did matter.
CARVILLE: It did. And again, you would not want to be president and have the secretary of defense and your top commanders come back and say we advise against doing this. That would make me uncomfortable and I'm a pretty good Democrat.
CHENEY: Those same people advised against doing it before the White House publicly announced they would release the photos. It's a little disingenuous to say he made the decision based on what the military commander ...
VANDEN HEUVEL: But it's also buying the military argument -- It's buying the military argument that the release of these photos will increase violence. These photos, Guantanamo, Bagram, that has been the cause for anti-Americanism and our actions, our policies in escalating in Afghanistan.