Steven Spruiell of NRO Media Blog offered a few thoughts on Tony Snow's apology to David Gregory for suggesting a question about how Bush is a failure was partisan in character. (To me, it had a bit of a "sorry I said the sky is blue" logic to it.) I'm more in line with Steve's POV than Noel Sheppard's praise for Snow's decency:
Snow's smart enough to realize that the White House simply doesn't enjoy the kind of popularity it would need to survive a war with the beltway media right now, and the last thing he needs is the Milbanks of the world attacking his credibility on the eve of a major policy change in Iraq.
One thing's for sure: Gregory was not owed an apology. His question was designed purely as an attack, not a serious inquiry into administration policy. So given that A) Snow must know that, and B) he went on Reliable Sources on Sunday and defending his handling of Gregory, his about-face today was a call for a truce before things get even uglier. A sad state of affairs in the White House briefing room.
In fact, I'd be stronger. David Gregory can be a completely petulant whiner, something the White House reporters would never tolerate in a briefer. How is Snow expected to have elephant-tough skin and then face reporters like Gregory trying out for 'The Princess and the Pea'? Snow has been much stronger in facing down reporters than I think Scott McClellan was, and his (polite) combativeness just what the Bush team needs -- when reporters start every day with the assumption that everything continues to fall apart inevitably for the White House.