Craig Crawford nails this latest public relations tactic the White House is employing to buy time through the holidays.
If just listening could make policy, then George W. Bush might have found a way forward in Iraq nearly a year ago. After all, this past week is not the first time the White House has mounted a listening offensive to turn things around.
[..]As with the current White House strategy of listening before talking, the president's January session with foreign policy experts served as the prelude to a speech. A week later he addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars and gave no indication that he had gleaned anything new at all from his listening offensive - not only rejecting any change in course in Iraq but asserting that the increased turmoil there was actually a sign of success.