Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush Administration bitten in the butt by Ports deal

Well, this is going to weaken President Bush's efforts to scuttle Congress's effort to kill the UAE ports sale.
President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.

Defending the deal anew, the administration also said that it should have briefed Congress sooner about the transaction, which has triggered a major political backlash among both Republicans and Democrats.
In and of itself, this doesn't bother me much because President's have administrations for a reason-to delegate this kind of work. It is natural that he is not going to be aware of some things until they reach his desk. Still, someone made a big error in thinking this deal was business as usual. The President's staff shoulf have made him aware of this in advance so they could be out ahead of any controversy. This news further weakens his ability to keep the deal in place.

Of course, an alternate reading on this could be that his administration just gave him a back door to get out of his comments from yesterday.

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