“We are on the verge of chaos, and the current approach is clearly not working,” said Jill Hazelbaker, spokeswoman for Thomas H. Kean Jr., the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in New Jersey. “We’ve seen an enormous amount of violence in Iraq, and Kean thinks it’s a responsibility of the U.S. to determine: are there other strategies we can pursue? So, in that sense, yes, we welcome tactical changes.”Don't call it "stay the course" or "more of the same" but rather "stall and hope for the best."
But other Republicans were skeptical. Tony Fabrizio, a pollster working for several Republican candidates, said the president did his party more harm than good by highlighting a troublesome issue and seeming to change course so close to Election Day.
“It makes it look like they have a confused policy,” he said. “Now the question will be, every day, what are the parameters of flexibility?”
Senior Democrats in Congress said the president presented little more than an old policy in new garb.
Senator Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Mr. Bush gave little ground on Wednesday and was unlikely to reap any political benefit.
“I don’t see any reason to believe the president is any more realistic,” Mr. Levin said. “What he said was an effort to get himself past the election by telling the American people that he’s changing course while telling the Iraqis he’s not changing course.” (emphasis mine)
Yeah, that ought to do it.