US Ditches Mubarak, Ctd

by Chris Bodenner

A snap analysis from Scott Lucas:

2120 GMT: While the protesters' reaction to the Mubarak speech is the lead story tonight, the 2nd story may be the breakdown of talks between US officials and the Egyptian President.

It was notable tonight that there was a delay of more than an hour between the announcement that Mubarak was about to speak and his actual appearance. In that hour, Obama's people not only put out the news that the President --- through the envoy Frank Wisner --- had asked Mubarak to refrain from standing for re-election in September, they added to reporters that they had asked Mubarak to rule out any campaign by his son Gamal.

The White House delayed a press briefing, expecting to welcome a suitable Mubarak announcement, but time dragged on. The Egyptian President did not appear, and the White House press briefing was scrubbed.

Whether Mubarak rewrote his speech in that hour is not known, but his defiance and refusal to announce a transition was not a rejection of the millions of his people who turned out today. It was also a rebuff to the US Government.

Update via Max Fisher:

A U.S. official tells BBC's Kim Ghattas that Mubarak's pledge is "not enough," suggesting that the Obama administration's stance is further aligning with that of the Egyptian popular protest movement.