Exclusive More Bad News Could Doom Bush

Dec. 6, 2005
Washington, D.C.
Vol. 40, No. 24b

To: Our Readers

  • Democrats undergo a confused metamorphosis over their position on the Iraq war
  • House faces a series of tough but critical votes this week on budget, taxes and terrorism reinsurance
  • Today’s special House election in California will tell a tale on immigration
  • DeLay’s travails not over, despite one charge dropped

Novak’s Outlook

1) One question is asked around Washington and in political circles everywhere: Has President George W. Bush hit bottom, or does he still have a distance to drop? Our answer is that if there is more bad news, bottom has not yet been reached by the President.

2) The President has tried to seize the initiative on Iraq, but all Republicans we talk to are privately agreed that he has failed. The problem, we believe, is not so much the number of casualties as the lack of successes in the field. This cannot be laid at the door of pessimistic reporting. There has to be a clear perception of success for the President’s popularity to go up.

3) The Iraqi withdrawal statement by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the best thing that has happened to the Republicans in a long time. She was obviously under terrific pressure to say this, but that does not excuse her for a monumental blunder.

4) The word around Washington that President Bush says he does not really care whether Democrats take control of the House in ’06 simply is not true. The President and his inner circle are not so detached from reality that they do not understand that a Democrat-controlled House with chairmanships and subpoena power controlled by Bush’s enemies would be hell on wheels for the President.

5) Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) will not run unopposed for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sending out direct and indirect signals that each will be a presidential candidate in ’08 are Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.), Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) and Sen. John Kerry (Mass.).

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