President Hosni Mubarak addressed an expectant Egypt on Thursday, saying that he had delegated his powers to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, but would not leave the country, according to NBC News translation. – MSNBC
Pres. Mubarak redefined out of touch today in his speech to Egypt.
Transferring some powers to V.P. Suleiman, Mubarak did not come anywhere close to stepping down. He’s obviously living in some bubble.
Mubarak did assure that Friday’s protests will be epic.
When Pres. Obama spoke in Michigan, he said “We are witnessing history unfold,” obviously believing senior official sources who were reporting that Pres. Mubarak was stepping down. Now the President is having an emergency meeting with his national security team.
Protesters are now rumored to be considering a march on the presidential palace, which could force the Egyptian military’s hand. Others heading towards State TV, according to CNN’s Ben Wedeman.
V.P. Suleiman in his remarks told protesters to go home, but also not to listen to the satellite networks, invoking desire for stability in Egyptians not in Tahrir Square. Disrespecting Egyptian “youth movement,” as he calls it, as “lackeys of satellite news channels,” as Anderson Cooper put it on CNN.
Things just got a lot tougher.
…and a few minutes ago (5:25 p.m. EST) Roger Cohen of the New York Times, in Cairo, put words to my thoughts above on CNN. He started by saying what happened today was a “huge case of bait and switch,” leaving everyone confused. But Pres. Obama and CIA’s Leon Panetta both leaning in to the reality of Mubarak standing down does get your attention, it sure did mine. Just maybe Egypt’s Old Pharaoh didn’t like his patrons arguing over his worth to them in public and decided to show everyone. After all, Mubarak is Egypt’s Pharaoh. What a mess.