Talk about a not-so-fun meeting.
President Bush was up on the Hill
this morning meeting with Congressional Republicans to quell their growing anxiety that their job security may be only marginally greater than that of the Iraq Interim Governing Council.
The tenor of the event can probably be judged by the fact that the 'rallying cry' coming out of the meeting seems to have been that things are really bad and almost certain to get worse.
According to several participants, President Bush told Republicans that the Iraqis are ready to "take the training wheels off" by assuming power.
That's a bit of a condescending thing to say about a country which encompasses what is generally considered to be the cradle of civilization. But the thought that an extra set of training wheels may now be available prompts the question of whether the Iraqis might be willing to hand their pair off to the White House.
As it happens, I was up on the Hill myself this morning for an early meeting and managed to get caught in the security sweep that preceded the president's visit -- something complicated by the fact that I wasn't carrying a press credential on me.
After parting company with my host, I went to one exit and was told I couldn't leave that way. And then, amid a thickening crowd of capitol police and secret service, I went to another exit.
"Where are you trying to go?"
"I'm just trying to leave."
"Lemme see some ID?"
"Why are you here?"
Etc. etc. etc. ...
Eventually one of the security team said I had just been seen walking down the hall with a member of congress. That seemed to stand me in semi-good-stead. And after being escorted to the Senate side of the Capitol I was cut loose in true catch-n-release fashion, none the worse for wear.