Watching the President and British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet the press in the East Room today, I am reminded of the Okie Gardener's comment years ago: Tony Blair may prove to be Aaron to George Bush's Moses (Exodus 4:10-14).

It is perhaps difficult to remember how surprising it was to some of us when Blair proved so stalwart in his conviction that remaking the Middle East was the crucial task of our generation. Where would we have been without Blair?

Like Joe Lieberman, the opponents of the war rightly hate Blair, without whom the President would have been hard-pressed to move forward. Blair's integrity, credibility, resolve and eloquence steadied the President and the policy in indispensable ways over the past five years. In the ultimate statesman-like fashion, Blair has sacrificed his popularity and his short-term legacy to support the President in what he (Blair) sees as the right thing to do.

If anything, the administration has made too little use of Blair's vast talent. Nevertheless, Americans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to this valiant friend.

News coverage of the press conference from the AP. Press Conference video from C-SPAN.