"A bunch of stuff has gone wrong"
WH staff member
Bolten Is Striving for Openness,
Particularly With Lawmakers
By JOHN D. MCKINNON
June 17, 2006; Page A4
WASHINGTON -- In his first interview since becoming White House chief of staff in March, Josh Bolten said he is trying to make the Bush administration more open, particularly reaching out to Congress, where relations have been badly strained.
The changes range from the president's more frequent meetings with lawmakers and Iraq-war critics to the seating chart at 7:30 a.m. senior staff meetings, where press secretary Tony Snow and congressional liaison Candi Wolff are being given more prominent positions.
While insisting that Mr. Bush always has welcomed differing views, Mr. Bolten said he has "tried to make sure we're more open." That includes more communication between White House staff and lawmakers.
He concedes that "a bunch of stuff has gone wrong," citing the theft of a computer hard drive containing vast amounts of personal data on veterans and some active-duty military. But he thinks the White House response has been "pretty effective" so far.
He cites as another success the president's televised speech seeking to jump-start the immigration debate in Congress, and the subsequent deployment of National Guard troops along the Southwest border. He is also hoping to win congressional approval of a line-item veto for the president. Looking ahead to next year, he is trying to lay the groundwork for a renewed effort to reform Social Security and Medicare, the federal health-care program for seniors.
He suggests Mr. Bush and his aides may have learned from their failed attempt to push through Social Security reform in 2005. "There's a keen appreciation around here that something as big as entitlement reform will be near-impossible to achieve on a strictly Republican-vote basis, so we'll need bipartisan cooperation," he said.
The Italians launched 11 offensives to seize the Izono River in WWI.
The odds are low that the House of 2007 would be so friendly.
I know people are down on the domestic agenda emphasis of the Dems, but any candidate who doesn't run with this is an idiot. This can hammer the GOP like Thor if used right.
posted by Steve @ 6:12:00 PM