Backtracking at Its Finest

We're all familiar with situations in which a public official says something candid but off-message and is later "corrected" by aides who explain ...
by | March 3, 2006

We're all familiar with situations in which a public official says something candid but off-message and is later "corrected" by aides who explain what he or she really meant to say.

Far be it from me to pile on at a time when the Bush administration's response to Katrina is again dominating the airwaves, but the disavowal of an earlier presidential statement by White House spokesman Trent Duffy is just too choice to pass up.

Remember Bush's actual words on September 1: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

Duffy clears up this ambiguous statement for the Washington Post :

"Echoing Bush's own later explanation, Duffy said yesterday that the president in his now-famous Sept. 1 comment did not mean that no one had ever anticipated breaches of the levees that guard New Orleans from flooding. Instead, Duffy said, Bush meant only that after the storm's landfall, many people believed New Orleans had escaped its most powerful winds."

Remember, class -- when I say "levees," what I mean is "wind."