Bush makes pitch for national unity as Congress convenes
By James Harding in Washington
Published: January 4 2005 19:20 | Last updated: January 4 2005 19:20
As he welcomed the newly elected members of Congress to Washington this week, President George W. Bush made a point of mentioning the four members of the House who are following their parents into a career on Capitol Hill. And then, with a smirk, he added: �I get a little nervous when the son follows the father.�
Such is the confidence of the re-elected 43rd president that not only is the generally scripted commander-in-chief increasingly given to lobbing in an ironic one-liner, Mr Bush is even self-assured enough to make light of what was taboo in the White House in the first term: the Bush dynasty.
More than that, Mr Bush has this week called his father out of Houston retirement to help lead a charitable fund-raising effort with former president Bill Clinton to assist the victims of the tsunami disaster.
Mr Bush made every effort in his first four years to insist that his relationship with his father was emotional, not professional. He cast himself as a very different president from George H.W. Bush on issues ranging from Israel to abortion, taxes to the United Nations. He sought to present himself as the political heir of Ronald Reagan, not a Bush scion. The decision to enlist his father, a man who has spent his retirement on the speaker circuit and mostly out of public service, illustrates both the emboldened character of the president and the extraordinary politics occasioned by the Indian Ocean catastrophe. The inclusion of Mr Clinton in an initiative undertaken by the Bush White House, a place that once operated under the unofficial mantra of �Anything but Clinton�, underlines the extent to which Mr Bush has risen above politics as usual.
(CNN) -- Mothers of U.S. troops serving in Iraq will help Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry make the case Monday that President Bush's optimistic view of the war does not reflect reality, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said Sunday.