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Does the White House think that Bin Laden will be captured in the next three years? If you'd like a clue to the answer, tune in to the State of the Union address this evening to see if Bush brings him up. I don't mean "if he brings up the war on terrorism" -- I'm sure he'll go on and on about that, since it's currently the largest fish in the presidential aquarium -- no, I'm interested in seeing if Bush actually mentions Bin Laden by name.
Bush Sr., you'll recall, also had himself a war, but failed (or opted not) to nick Bad Guy #1 from the other side. A few years later George got downsized by the America public, and pundits said that Saddam's survival was one of many reasons. Junior is certainly not going to want to make the same mistake, so he's going to do everything in his power to either nab Bin Laden or make the US forget that BL was ever the focus.
If the White House thinks that Bin Laden will be a captive or a corpse by the next election, they will probably mention him often -- including tonight -- so that Bush's ratings will soar when it finally happens. But if they don't expect to see hide nor hair of Osama before 2004, this will be an excellent time to let the forgetting begin. Which do they believe? Find out tonight.
Update: No mention of Bin Laden. Also: "E Pluribus Unum" on coins to be replaced with "Let's Roll!"Posted on January 29, 2002 to