Earlier today, Deacon posted on the latest poll showing President Bush with a 66% approval rating, based largely on the fact that 75% consider him a strong leader. President Bush seems to have confirmed the “use it or lose it” approach to political power. Rather than sit on his high approval ratings, he put his influence on the line to help swing November’s election for his party. Having spent a great deal of political capital, he has emerged stronger than ever. The New York Times woke up this morning to find that “President Bush has created one of the most powerful White Houses in at least a generation.” While the Times is by no means a sympathetic observer of the Administration, its analysis of the growth of Bush’s influence is accurate:
“Mr. Bush’s stature was enhanced by the way he led the nation after the terrorist attacks, establishing him as an overwhelmingly popular president. It was that popularity, and an understanding by the White House of the way the attacks had altered the political landscape, that led to the Republican sweep in the midterm election, further enhancing Mr. Bush’s authority.
“And it was in no small part the role that Mr. Bush played in driving the Republican victory last November that gave the White House the authority it needed to maneuver over the last two weeks.”
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