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Insights: Politics

With a disputed election and partisan policies, the self-proclaimed "healing" president has his work cut out for him
Tom Wicker
From the Print Edition:
The Sopranos, Mar/Apr 01

(continued from page 3)

On the other hand, Bush already has signaled that he won't be pushed around or intimidated politically -- a necessary message for any president to send to Washington's voracious wolves, in and out of Congress. Had Bush's first actions been more conciliatory or timid, he might have created a dangerous opposite impression.

The outlook for Bush to bring an end to bickering in Washington, however, is not bright and never was -- nor does the effort seem to be a high priority for him. Even in its virulent current form, partisan hostility predates the disputed vote counting in Florida and is likely to continue past Bush's "first hundred days" or even his term in office.

In view of the way he came to the White House, Democratic antipathy to him might even replicate the rage against Bill Clinton that so many Republicans exhibited in the last eight years. Which may be why George Bush decided he had little choice except to go his own way.


Tom Wicker was a political columnist for 25 years for The New York Times until his retirement in 1991. He now lives in Vermont.

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