The Corner

What Bush Needs

I think what Bush needs is for people to forget about Bush and Washington for a while. The public has stripped its gears when it comes to Bush. He needs some benign neglect so people can “re-discover” him. One of the ways Bill Clinton came back was to first allow the GOP its moment in the sun. This took attention away from Clinton. Then, whenever he popped back into the news it was to do some small, simple, thing that was substantively meaningless but politically popular. School uniforms. Vacation in a national park. School bus safety. Meat safety. Etc. By the time the GOP Congress “overreached” Clinton was safely in the center and the Republicans looked like Huns eager to tear down the government (Note: I personally like Hunnish policies, but that’s beside the point). The problem for Bush is that he can’t stay out of the news so long as Iraq is in the news. And so long as Iraq is in the news the economy — or anything else — won’t be, at least not for long. And he certainly can’t afford to have the Democrats take back the Congress. Spending the last two years drowing in Congressional subpoenas could actually help his polls numbers (“picking” on Clinton kept his numbers artificially high because many Americans were simply sick of “scandal culture”). But there’s no time to bounce back at the end of his presidency according to such a scenario.

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