During a press briefing by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, there was this exchange on March 1 -- over two and a half months ago:
REPORTER: ... A lot of Republicans came back and said that there's just not a groundswell of public opinion out there in favor of [a Social Security] overhaul of the sort the President is proposing ... what can the President do at this point to turn public opinion --Well, at least the White House knows how to stay on message. Yesterday, more than two and a half months after McClellan said the dialogue on SS reform had "really just begun," the Washington Post reports:
McCLELLAN: We're very much in the early stages of the legislative process. We're very much in the early stages of the outreach to the American people. This is a process that has really just begun. It really began in earnest with the President's State of the Union address, and that was only 30 days ago, where the President outlined the problems and challenges facing Social Security ...
REPORTER: So for now, at least, it's just a matter of getting the same message across?
McCLELLAN: Well, I think that, in the early stages, it's important to continue to talk about the major problems facing Social Security.
... Bush keeps plugging on, pounding home a practiced message on Social Security that polls show so far has not sold the country.
"I'm just beginning this debate," Bush said in an appearance at the Milwaukee Art Museum, his 32nd Social Security event this year.