Post Labor Day Product Rollout: War with Iran!

On September 7, 2002, The New York Times White House correspondent Elizabeth Bushmiller treated readers to an explanation of how the Bush administration planned to sell the invasion of Iraq:

White House officials said today that the administration was following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.

The rollout of the strategy this week, they said, was planned long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas last month. It was not hastily concocted, they insisted, after some prominent Republicans began to raise doubts about moving against Mr. Hussein and administration officials made contradictory statements about the need for weapons inspectors in Iraq.

The White House decided, they said, that even with the appearance of disarray it was still more advantageous to wait until after Labor Day to kick off their plan.

”From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, ”you don’t introduce new products in August.”

A centerpiece of the strategy, White House officials said, is to use Mr. Bush’s speech on Sept. 11 to help move Americans toward support of action against Iraq, which could come early next year.

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