At the Conservative Political Action Conference and similar forums of political activists, the question of whether the President is losing his hard-core base of supporters has been discussed and debated since the President disappointed fans on the right with his attempt to name Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court earlier this year.
Earlier today the same query was posed to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Given recent political developments such as the controversy over the Dubai Ports, “Are you holding onto your base?” asked David Jackson of USA Today (Known to press conference aficionados as the man the President calls on as “Action” Jackson).
“I think you’re overanalyzing a bit,” McClellan replied to Jackson, who then proceeded to tick off what he described as “a solid record of accomplishment” by the Bush Administration: renewal of the Patriot Act, meeting with a group of House GOP leaders to discuss “reducing dependency on foreign sources of energy. He also pointed out that the “economy is strong” and “moving forward.”
The President’s top spokesman went on to tell Jackson that those who talk about Bush’s base leaving him “selectively pick snapshots and draw conclusions.” As another example of where the President is impressive to his base, McClellan cited the latest cause celebre of the White House: revival of the line-item veto for the President. “We are working to implement that,” said McClellan.