Friday, January 23, 2004


To be honest, it wasn't Bush's finest hour, and it probably won't help him in the polls. Zogby's most recent poll shows his "negatives" exceeding his "positives", a continuing downward trend from his peak at the beginning of the invasion of Iraq.

I still don't think the Democrats have a candidate with enough horsepower to unseat him, but I thought the same in 1992.

So, don't take anything for granted.

Bush missed a terrific opportunity to seize the legislative initiative from the Democrats, but he didn't. And he seemed a little too much like Howard Dean in a couple of segments of the address. His most energenic appeal was to high school football players to stop taking steroids. What's up with that?

And don't get me started on his curtsy to the religious right about "marraige". Maybe that's all it was . . . a token . . . and he won't really sponsor or support a constitutional amendment. But this is one where he should just say, it's a state by state issue and the federal government will stay out of it.

Net-net, Bush needs to more paranoid about the bigger issues. His father was on cruise control his last nine months in office and it cost him the election. "W" needs to do what got him there -- stay focused on the war on terror (which the vast majority support) and hope like hell the economy keeps growing (which he can do very little to control).

UPDATE: I thought I heard Bush say he would cap discretionary spending at 4%. Today, he says he'll cap it at 1%. An opportunity lost. If he'd announced that at the State of the Union, he may have gotten a couple of Democrats to applaud.


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