Why Are They Surprised?

According to news reports, the White House has been surprised by the furor over the deal for the British firm that currently manages operations at six ports to a company based in and owned by the United Arab Emirates. Leaving aside whether the deal is wise or not from a security standpoint, this is a grievous self-inflicted political wound. And the White House is surprised?

This is hardly the first time something like this has happened. The same reaction was seen when the President inexplicably nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. The rapid response of the conservative base was vocal, angry and ultimately (thankfully) successful. Yet again, the White House expressed surprise at the reaction. Anybody could have told them.

There are two possibilities that come to mind. First, the White House staff is burned out, tone deaf, and off its game. There is certainly no shortage of indicators that this may be true. Second terms have not been kind to Presidents. The last guy to not run into severe issues that I can think of was James Monroe, and that goes back a few.

But second, perhaps this is another demonstration of the crafty hedgehog at work. While Bush suffered some slings and arrows over Miers, he ended up with Alito--a candidate many observers and commentators thought to be too conservative to be confirmed. So there may be a deeper strategy at work here...but it's hard to see what it is at the moment.


At 3:12 AM, Blogger jarhead john said...

I find it hard to believe that the administration would bring this much heat upon itself without some motive that is yet to be seen. Military.com has an article that refers to the "vital" relationship with the UAE. I hope that's not it. The fact that they claim to be surprised is pretty amusing.


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