[Laura Bush]'s decision to submit to an hour-long interrogation by NBC's Tim Russert comes as Democrats John F. Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards and Wesley K. Clark have been denouncing him not just on Sunday morning shows but on programs ranging from "Hardball" and "Larry King Live" to David Letterman's "Late Show" and Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," where Edwards announced his candidacy.
Communications Director Dan Bartlett said that Bush, who plans to appoint a commission to examine intelligence failures on Iraq, "felt it was important that the American people hear his thinking on this issue and pursuing the war on terrorism." On Tuesday, Bush suggested "Meet the Press" because of the "lengthy format" and because "Tim Russert has an enormous amount of respect," Bartlett said.
Bush often appears most comfortable in informal settings, such as when he and his wife appeared with Oprah Winfrey in 2000. By contrast, said one Republican strategist, "Russert is relentless, and Bush can get prickly under questioning."
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