Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Froomkin: President Bush tonight will try to change the subject -- and will fail

President Bush tonight will try to change the subject -- and will fail.

That's the consensus of the Washington press corps, which is nearly unanimous today in describing a badly weakened president desperate to boost his standing by talking about anything but Iraq.

Ron Hutcheson writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "Facing a hostile Congress and a skeptical public, President Bush will use his State of the Union speech Tuesday to try to leverage his rapidly diminishing clout behind a series of new proposals. . . .

"But he's never gone to Capitol Hill under such difficult circumstances, and he's so weak politically that his effort to set the national agenda is unlikely to succeed, for Democrats didn't win power to follow his lead."

Susan Milligan writes in the Boston Globe that "while Bush's rhetoric appears more conciliatory now that he faces a Democratic-controlled Congress for the first time in his tenure, the president has shown no sign of compromising on the substance of his domestic or foreign policy goals, according to lawmakers in both parties who have had discussions with the White House."

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