04/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

White House On Iraq: 'We've Thrown Out The Rose-Colored Glasses'

Earlier today, Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto made a startling admission, suggesting that, at some point in the past, the White House regarded the events in Iraq with undue optimism:

Q Also, how does this latest violence in Iraq and the latest uncertainty about what's going on color the Petraeus-Crocker testimony this time around? It obviously has changed the equation. I mean, weeks ago it looked like the surge was -- you know, had this pretty rosy cast, and now with all this renewed violence, I think it has changed the dynamics. So how has this changed the equation?

MR. FRATTO: Well, I think we've thrown out all of the rose-colored glasses in how we look at Iraq, and try to look at it through clear lenses as to what is actually going on in the country. And what is happening there, I think what we are all seeing is that the Iraqi political leadership is trying to take hold of the security for their country. They took a very bold, aggressive action in Basra. It wasn't a overall success, but it -- but we learned a lot about what the capabilities of the Iraqi army are, and we learned a lot -- and maybe this is even the most important thing -- of what the capabilities and intentions of the Iraqi leadership are to go after criminal elements and illegal militias in their country, and to evenly enforce the rule of law across the country.

Oh, for a press corps with the intellectual rigor of the good folks at ThinkProgress, who astutely wondered, "When exactly did the White House throw away its rose-colored glasses?"

I'd suggest we flash back to March 5, 2008, the day President Bush endorsed GOP nominee John McCain, and subject the video of their joint appearance to greater scrutiny. Because based upon the remarks of John McCain and his surrogates, it appears as though he passed those rose-colored glasses on to his would-be successor.

We know that Bush had the glasses just before the endorsement announcement. Remember? He was tap dancing.