And the award for Most Obvious Statement in a News Article Today goes to:

Elizabeth Bumiller for her truly amazing ability to state the obvious as if it were a new and interesting thought.  (Well, perhaps it was for Bumiller, but the rest of us have known this one for a while.)

President Bush said Tuesday that the war in Iraq was eroding his political capital, his starkest admission yet about the costs of the conflict to his presidency, and suggested that American forces would remain in the country until at least 2009.

Oh yeah, quite the shocker, isn’t it?

At least Elizabeth had the decency to get some quotes from folks on the latest White House spin efforts.  Amazing how the polls show that American are fed up with "pie in the sky" pronouncements from Mr. Rose Colored Glasses in the White House and suddenly he is re-born as Mr. Just Enough "Candor" to Save My Sorry Political Ass, isn’t it?

The speech tactic worked in late 2005 when another series of Iraq addresses helped to stabilize the president’s poll numbers temporarily. But analysts said that with his message now familiar to the nation, it was not clear whether people were listening.

"The problem with the speeches is they get gradually more realistic, but they are still exercises in spin," said Anthony Cordesman, a military specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "They don’t outline the risks. They don’t create a climate where people trust what’s being said."

White House officials are hopeful that the communications offensive by Mr. Bush will stop the decline that has sunk his job approval ratings to the lowest levels of his presidency, but some military analysts said they were skeptical because he announced no new policies in his news conference or in his speeches.

"This particular series confuses me about what it is trying to accomplish," said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow and military specialist at the Brookings Institution. "It’s been a bad winter in Iraq, but I also don’t think he has enough new to say, and it’s too soon after the fall speeches."

What the American public would appreciate is some actual candor.  An acknowledgement that mistakes were made from the start of the war –  indeed even that the whole concept of preemptive war without proof of a substantial threat to this nation was a very, very bad idea — and that there is some effort under way to make better, smarter decisions.  And not just about the war, but about our deficit, increased pork spending in the Republican-controlled Congress, and a whole host of domestic issues that seem to have disappeared off the map. 

And that we’ll be seeing a whole lot more Congressional oversight — the real kind, not just the show day in committee we’ve been getting lately, but the real, honest oversight where members of Congress do their jobs instead of that Rubber Stamp Republican sham oversight we’ve been seeing of late.  (Anyone heard anything on the results of the Phase II investigation in the Intelligence Committee run by Pat Roberts (R-KS)?  I thought not.)

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath on that, either.