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Military.com Meets With President Bush
Washington Post   |  By Michael Abramowitz  |  September 17, 2007
The day after his prime-time speech on Iraq, President Bush sat down for a round-table interview not with traditional White House reporters but with bloggers who focus on military issues, including two participating by video link from Baghdad.

Judging from some of the accounts of the Friday meeting, the president offered up little news. Here is what one of the 10 bloggers, Ward Carroll of Military.com, described from his notes as some of Bush's most notable comments:

  • "This strategy is my strategy."
  • "I'm defining a horizon of peace."
  • "I don't mind people attacking me. . . . That's politics . . . but I do mind people impugning the integrity of our generals."

Still, the hour-long meeting in the Roosevelt Room offered Bush another opportunity to break through what he sees as the filter of the traditional news media, while also reaching out to the providers of a new source of information for soldiers, their families and others who follow the conflict in Iraq closely.

"More and more we are engaging in the new-media world, and these are influential people who have a big following," said Kevin F. Sullivan, the White House communications chief.

Bush told the group that, to his knowledge, it was the first time a president had met with bloggers for a chat at the White House, one of the participants wrote. The blogs represented at the meeting are generally pro-Bush and pro-military, and the ensuing reports were highly sympathetic to the president.

"At this meeting President Bush came off as more comfortable with the message than I've seen him appear on TV or in speeches," wrote Carroll, a journalist and former Navy pilot. "No deer-in-the-headlights stuff here. Truly unwavering and passionate. Facts on the ground notwithstanding, he believes the United States can win the Iraq War. And to be honest, being around him made me believe it at that moment too."

Read the rest of this article here.

 

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