The distinguished Michael Novakmakes this point:

Look. We have seen this move before. Everybody rages that Bush is doing the wrong thing, he has to do X. Senator Daschle says he has to do X.

Republicans say he has to do X. The whole press says he is stupid for not doing X. Still, Bush refuses. And refuses. And refuses. Then, after everybody else has spoken, Bush suddenly says, O.K., we’ll do X. Then, with the attention of the whole world upon him, and with everybody committed to X, he steps forward and goes right through the hole the attackers opened up for him. He does X, and knocks them dead.

In football, this play is called the mousetrap. The guard pulls out and moves toward the end, and the opposing players rush in on the attack. Suddenly the ball is handed off to a runner heading right for the spot the attackers had just vacated.

In this case, Condi Rice is the runner, and now she will have a chance to say exactly what she has wanted to say for two weeks, exactly what she has been saying, but now with everybody’s attention, and the eyes of the whole stadium–and the entire television audience–upon her. And hers will be the last word.