Bush stuns congressional Republicans by crashing Iraq meeting

Kind of awesome, if perhaps unnecessary. Hey — when a man with a 29% approval rating tells you to do something, you do it:

President Bush shocked Capitol Hill staffers and Republican leaders Monday when he crashed a meeting at the White House to deliver a blunt message that he wasn’t backing down on Iraq and Republicans need to understand that.

“It was stunning,” said one GOP aide who attended the meeting. “We couldn’t believe he came in.”

“We kept looking at each other, amazed he came in,” said another Republican aide.

Bush was described as folksy, adamant and mildly profane as he interrupted the meeting between senior White House communications staffers Tony Snow and Ed Gillespie and GOP leaders. His message: the policy on Iraq isn’t changing. He is not backing down and no one on Capitol Hill should be confused into thinking he is letting up.

The interruption precedes what is expected to be an all-nighter in the Senate on Tuesday, ordered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a way to protest GOP blocking tactics on moves to compel U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq…

Senate Republican leaders, alerted to Reid’s plans on Monday, said they have the votes to keep the president’s surge policy in place, at least for now, and called Reid’s up-all-night gambit a stunt that wouldn’t change any minds.