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Examining Bush's prospects for the next two years -- conciliatory or not

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Both the New York Times and The Washington Post take a look at Bush's prospects for the next two years. The respective articles have very different starting points when it comes to Bush's approach so far.

The Times finds that Bush's initial steps toward Democrats have been confrontational:

If anything, Democrats have taken Mr. Bush’s first moves since this month’s election as more provocative than conciliatory. He plans to use the lame-duck Republican Congress to push domestic wiretapping legislation that Democrats overwhelmingly oppose; he is pushing for the confirmation of his ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton, whose continued service most Democrats, not to mention some Republicans, oppose; and he has resubmitted the names of several conservative justices for the federal bench whom Democrats have rejected once already.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post seems to think that Bush has been much more open and willing to work with the Democrats. The premise of the Post article is that Bush can redeem his failed presidency:
Bush's opening message since the election has been one of conciliation, in firing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, as many critics had urged, and in reaching out to incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.). "Let's let the election go," White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove said in a recent interview. "Let's say, 'Okay, where are some places where we can work together?' "
Does anyone really believe Karl Rove means that? Bush will have a hard time moderating. His base -- and Karl Rove -- won't allow that.

Both articles about Bush's immediate future virtually ignored the issue that will dominate his legacy: Iraq. There were passing references, but no analysis about how that will impact the President's relationship with Congress or his standing with the American people.

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