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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five months after starting his second term with high hopes, President Bush is struggling to regain the confidence of Americans concerned about the direction of the Iraq war and the U.S. economy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush needs to tell Americans the nation faces "a long, hard slog" in Iraq, a key Republican senator said on Sunday, and another said the White House was "disconnected from reality" in its optimism over the war.
WASHINGTON (Creators Syndicate) -- The decline in George W. Bush's political fortunes fits the cyclic pattern of all presidents except for one constant that troubles Republicans. In nearly four and one-half years, President Bush has not progressed in handling Congress. He seems as much at a loss in dealing with the legislative branch as the day he entered the White House.
Bush is the only Republican president since the 1920s to enjoy protracted control of both houses of Congress by his own party. Yet, he seems less able to direct the legislative branch than Republican predecessors who had to handle a Democratic-controlled Congress. With Congress in its lengthy Memorial Day recess, GOP legislators and lobbyists tabulated the scorecard on items large and small.
~!~The House passed a stem cell research funding bill marked by Bush for his first veto after GOP leaders made a deal with liberals to bring the measure to the floor in return for their votes on the budget.
~!~The Senate's highway bill exceeds the president's overly generous spending limits, peppered with pork projects earmarked by individual senators.
~!~Senior Republican senators cut a deal on judicial confirmations that threw overboard at least two of the president's nominees.
~!~Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio delayed and broke the momentum for confirmation of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
~!~Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, preparing a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, has put a hold on the nomination of longtime Bush supporter Julie Finley as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) because of her abortion activism.
~!~CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) ratification is in deep trouble and will need more effort than shown so far by the White House.
~!~The president's top legislative priority, Social Security reform, is becalmed. What the president wants cannot pass either chamber of Congress.
This dreary overview suggests the second-term blues for any president because of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution that established presidential term limits. But being a lame duck may be a special burden for Bush. "I don't believe the president understands that though he never again will run for any office, we have to run every two years," a leading House Republican told me.
That lack of rapport reflects coolness between a conservative Congress and a conservative president. Only Jimmy Carter as president was more of an outsider than Bush. In my first interview with then Gov. Bush, he told me how he disliked Washington. He acts as though the city today -- especially Congress -- is less attractive than ever.
Originally posted by marg6043
What a president to do to keep his party’s support?
Issues like Social Security, the Economy, Gas prices, toppled with the Schiavo Case, the filibuster nominations and John Bolton has kept Mister Bush quite busy and away from other issues, making Americans a littler bit to skeptical on what the priorities are when it comes to the American people.