I caught the tail end of a conversation between Rush Limbaugh and President Bush while going out to pick up some lunch today. Dubya sounded as relaxed as possible for being in the middle of a campaign. Rush hit him with questions on Iraq: what's the link between Iraq and the broader war on terror? Why are we still there? What are future plans in regards to the war? The President answered them all succinctly and with clear answers. They're answers we've heard before: Iraq as safe harbor for terror groups, Saddam Hussein as patron to terrorists such as Abu Nidal (the leader of the Achille Lauro hijacking and murderer of American Leon Klinghoffer), use of chemical weapons on the Kurds, invasion of neighboring nations, sponsoring terrorist actions in Palestine, and constant violation of United Nations rsolutions. The song is the same, because there's no need to change any lyrics. I was also informed that 75% of al-Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed. Good on us.
On the domestic front, President Bush told Rush to wait for his convention speech for his answer. He did, however, talk about the reforms to Social Security and health care that will be crucial for a more modern society where moving from job to job is a reality. Those reforms have been discussed a bit by Congress and need to be implemented. The income tax reductions, a major facet of Dubya's 2000 campaign, still appear as both an accomplishment and a stepping stone to greater reductions. I'd like to see something about gay rights and civil unions, but that's likely asking too much for this term. Like the faith-based initiatives that allowed reliious charities further access to cure social maladies, a nod of agreement to the civil unions issue would show the compassionate side of conservative thought.
The President delivered this message as usual; a quick stutter here and there, a stutter that shows that his mind is moving far faster than his speech. It was a delivery similar to Jimmy Stewart's little stutter, and made him seem very human, very close to the people he serves. He also brought out his genial side, asking about Rush's health, asking the listeners to send prayers Rush's way to help him in his personal life. In all, it was a good interview.