David Broder has a piece in the Washington Post today in which he writes that President Bush has some political strenght remaining. Yes, Bush is in a weakened position, but it would be unwise to dismiss him:
It may seem perverse to suggest that, at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback. But don’t be astonished if that is the case.
Like President Bill Clinton after the Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994, Bush has gone through a period of wrenching adjustment to his reduced status. But just as Clinton did in the winter of 1995, Bush now shows signs of renewed energy and is regaining the initiative on several fronts.
More important, he is demonstrating political smarts that even his critics have to acknowledge.
Don Surber discusses the other ways that Bush can come out ahead:
Broder didn’t get into it, but I will: The election freed Bush in several ways. Like Clinton, things Bush could not get through a Congress run by his party are suddenly possible.
Just as Republican senators and congressors are now free to speak their minds about him, Bush is free of them.
Bush also can take down the façade of perfection in Iraq. Dumping Rumsfeld allowed him to bring in Petraeus and win the war.
Bush also dumped Bolton, whom I liked, but who is showing a rather disturbing pigheadedness for a diplomat. Bolton went ape over the Korean nuke deal. Excuse me, but neither Japan nor South Korea are willing to go to war over this. Without them: No war.
Losing Congress happens. Volumes have been written about the benefits of gridlock. I shall not add to the mass.
But being shed of a Republican Congress also does away with all the Terri Schiavo-style legislation and may move attention in the Republican Big Tent from the Creationist Clowns and back to the main event: Fixing the courts, balancing the budget and winning the war.
Joe Gandelman thinks Bush is on the verge of a rebound as well:
And into this vacuum of uncertainty moves someone to fill it with certainty….George Bush. Part of his rebound is due to the dilemma facing Democrats — and how they’re responding to it.