Reality is knocking on the door.
Washington is being debated
Scandals stymie W's momentum
BY THOMAS M. DeFRANK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF
WASHINGTON - Suddenly, like the fierce "blue northers" that sweep across Texas each autumn, the political winds have turned bleaker for Republicans - and President Bush's private mood has blackened accordingly.
Just two weeks ago, as gasoline prices plummeted and his tough-talking terror counterattack began moving poll numbers his way, Bush turned bullish on the November elections.
"He's on scent and he's driving hard," a longtime political confidant of the President reported early this month. "He's got the microphone and thinks he's controlling the political debate."
First Lady Laura Bush, who is even more in demand than her husband on the political stump this cycle, also was telling aides she thought the tide had finally turned.
Now, however, friends, aides and close political allies tell the Daily News Bush is furious with his own side for helping create a political downdraft that has blunted his momentum and endangered GOP prospects for keeping control of Congress next month.
Some of his anger is directed at former aides who helped Watergate journalist Bob Woodward paint a lurid portrait of a dysfunctional, chaotic administration in his new book, "State of Denial.
Bush is less worried about his standing with history, telling aides that George Washington's legacy is still being debated two centuries later. But he understands that losing one chamber of Congress will cripple his lame duck-weakened final two years.
"He's remarkably optimistic," a Bush insider said. "Like Ronald Reagan, he has a gift for looking beyond the morass in front of him and sticking to his goals, even if it's not popular."
Bush was delusional anyway. He was losing the debate before Foley. The problem now is that the GOP shit the bed. The question isn't if the Dems take back Congress, but by what margin. It is highly unlikely that Reynolds, Hastert and Shimkus are coming back to the House. Seats not thought to be in play. Now, they are.
And the Senate is in play as well to the point that Harold Ford is leading in Tennessee.
But no one knows how deep the Foley scandal goes and how angry voters will be.
posted by Steve @ 4:35:00 PM