I know that we are squarely within the honeymoon period and past actions should speak petty loudly, but I wanted to write this before all the optimism and bipartisan dissolves. President Bush has really impressed me with the way he has handled himself after the midterm elections. There were no signs of petulance, or anger and the comments he has made have seemed very open, honest, and humble. I think the whole country appreciates the way he has responded.
Bush wasted no time in holding meetings with the new speaker of the house and the new majority leader in the senate and has publicly called for bipartisan cooperation.
My attitude about this is that there is a great opportunity for us to show the country that Republicans and Democrats are equally as patriotic and equally concerned about the future and that we can work together.
Likewise, his stated openness to “new ideas on Iraq” from the incoming democratic majority sounded sincere. And even his candidness about the timing of Rumsfeld’s “resignation” has been refreshing, with him stating that they didn’t want to announce such a thing in the midst of the campaigns for fear that it would not bode well for GOP candidates.
There is still a good chance that his response has been carefully crafted and is part of a large plan to make the Democrats look bad in the coming weeks when there will surely be clashes with a lame duck congress and the President trying to get some things through congress before January. Maybe Bush is really feeling that his administration can compromise. We may find out later this month but I know, I for one, will believe it when I see it. It will be a move outside of Bush’s comfort zone and compromise is not something he has done in the previous six years in office. But maybe his admission that his side got “thumped” has truly brought some humility to the man.