28 June, 2005

Presidential Address rehearsal

MR. McCLELLAN: So the President looks forward to speaking to the American people tomorrow night. You will hear from him in much greater detail, but I wanted to give you a little bit of a preview to begin with. And with that, I'll be glad to go to your questions.

Q Scott, are there new details in the strategy for success? Is there a new direction, or is the President basically summing up what he has said before?

MR. McCLELLAN: As I said, this is a new speech. And the President will be talking in a very specific way about the strategy for succeeding in Iraq. [record skips] ... the President will be talking in a very specific way about the strategy for succeeding in Iraq.

Q Well, I guess what I'm asking is, are people going to hear things they haven't heard the President say before? Are there new details?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think many Americans have not heard much of what the President has to say tomorrow night... The American people want to see our troops return home, but I think they understand the importance of succeeding in Iraq.... succeeding in Iraq... *whzzt* succeeding in Iraq. And the President will talk about that in his remarks. I think we all want to see the troops come home sooner than later, and the way to get our troops home is to complete the mission... complete the mission... complete the mission... compl--

[Needle scratches. Sound of record being changed.]

Q The question is, is there a new direction, though, or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: [Cabana muzak plays]

Q Isn't the message really more patience? Isn't that really what the President is going to be requesting, something he's --

[Record is stopped. Old tape begins to play.]

MR. McCLELLAN: (crackling noises) Well, I think if you go back to September 11th -- remember, on September 11th the threats of the 21st century were brought to our shores. We saw in a very clear way the threats that we face on that day.

And the President said shortly after the attacks of September 11th that this is a long struggle that we're going to be in, that this is a different kind of war, one which we have never seen before. And we do face a determined and ruthless enemy, an enemy that has no regard for innocent human life. That's the nature of the enemy that we're up against. That's the nature of the enemy that the President will be talking about in his remarks tomorrow night.

And the President made it clear after September 11th that some will want us to grow complacent and forget about, or put the attacks off as a distant memory. But it does require patience and resolve to see this struggle through to the end. We have no option but to defeat the terrorists, and the terrorists will be defeated.

[REPORTER gets up and leaves, disgusted. In her place is a cardboard facsimile with an iPod taped to its chest.]

iPOD: Why do you build me up, Buttercup baby, just to let me down? You spin me around and then worst of all... worst of all.. you never call baby when you say you will...

[McCLELLAN's record is changed again.]

MR. McCLELLAN: In the Navy! Come on and protect your motherland, in the Navy! Come on and join your fellow man, in the Navy! Come on, people, make a stand! In the Navy! In the Navy! THEY WANT YOU! THEY WANT YOU! THEY WANT YOU AS A NEW RECRUIT!

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