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News Headlines

Democrat Urges Rove to Quit Over CIA Leak

Ethical Issues Tar Bush Administration

ABC News Poll: Bush approval at 39%

Indictment caps worst week of Bush presidency

Quotes from Meet the Press, Sunday Oct. 30, 2005

  • William Safire

    The wonderful thing about American attention and media coverage, is the narrative has to change. It can't stay the same, or else it's not newsworthy. And so the story will be the comeback. And when you look at what's happened in the last few weeks, what we have overlooked is the fact that there was a constitution voted for in Iraq. Had it been voted against, it would have been a calamity. But it was good news, and it wasn't covered. Katrina was supposed to--and rising gas prices, that was supposed to clobber the economy, and turn things down, and ruin the stock market. Well, what happened? We just found out the other day that gross domestic product rose 3.8 percent, a huge jump. That the economy is, as it gets to 4 percent, booming. And that has to be reflected. But we don't cover it, because it's not in today's narrative.

  • Ken Duberstein

    I think the jury is well out in trying to figure it out. But I think he has about three months, between now and the State of the Union address, to start going on the offense, to start laying out some issues that mean something to the American people, to overcome the reaction on Katrina, to overcome the energy prices, the gas prices. I think you're going to start seeing it this week, with a Supreme Court nominee, that can get 65 or 70 votes, not somebody who pleads to the far right, but somebody more than a consensus candidate, somebody who, in fact, will be well-received by the American people and the Senate.

    I think you're going to see Bush go abroad and be the foreign policy big-stroke leader, that, in fact, the-- that America looks for. I think you're going to see him on other issues, whether it's immigration or tax reform, and tax simplification and federal spending, start talking about the big items, the big agenda, as he rolls toward his State of the Union address next January.

    I think this is not a Hail Mary pass. I think this is three yards and a cloud of dust. It's the old Vince Lombardi strategy. As Ronald Reagan did back in the aftermath of Iran Contra. You have to work on it day in and day out, to re-establish that presidential leadership that the whole country looks for.

  • David Broder

    I have to say that I thought the president had taken sensible steps to try to ward off second-term problems. He was well aware of this history. And he had, particularly in the terms of agenda, laid out a very ambitious second-term agenda that he thought would give a real focus and purpose to it. Turned out that he misjudged what the country was looking for in a second term. And the question that I think now confronts the president is:"Can I really rely as much as I have on my own sort of gut instincts to guide my policies? Can I trust the people whose advice has helped shape those policies? Or do I really have to reconsider the whole way in which I have governed?" If he's capable of raising that question for himself, he certainly has time to recover, Bill. But I don't know whether he has that capacity.

  • Michael Beschloss

    You know, Tim, what strikes me even more powerfully from what everyone is saying is almost why presidents aren't tempted to almost immediately say,"I've made a mistake and I'm going to change." But Ken was being very modest over here in talking about Ronald Reagan, but he was one of the ones who went to the president and said,"You can't keep on saying you did not trade arms for hostages; no one believes it." And when he gave that speech that we saw on the screen that you put up, Tim, saying that actually he did, although in his heart he felt he did not, his poll ratings went up 9 percent. That was something that helped. You know, Leon was talking about John Kennedy taking responsibility after the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs, his poll ratings shot up to 81 percent, highest numbers of Kennedy's presidency. Kennedy joked to one of his friends, you know,"I should do this more. It seems the worse I do, the more popular I get."

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