Bush's Calculated Pursuit of Validation

"If nothing else, the Bush administration has succeeded in making 'Should we attack Iraq?' the most-considered political question in the US today," observes PR Week. Other questions pushed to the background include "How do we punish corporate criminals?" "How do we balance civil liberties with national security?" "Where is Osama bin Laden?" and "What about the economy?" According to Weber Shandwick Worldwide chairman Jack Leslie, who has served as a PR consultant to the White House since 9/11, the Bush administration deliberately waited until Labor Day (and election season) to get the pro-war PR campaign rolling. "Better this than a lot of domestic issues that could be at the forefront," Leslie said. "Not to suggest that this is all [a diversion], but surely they would rather have a debate around Iraq than other issues." But PR Week notes that "Bush's intended invasion is not being at all well-received in [the Arab] world, or anywhere outside the US for that matter. If anything, it's giving the various strains of anti-American sentiment floating around there a single, substantive issue which they can glom on to. ... So one has to wonder, if this effort is largely about keeping American voters thinking about Saddam instead of Skilling, is it accomplishing its goal at the expense of America's credibility abroad?"