Tags: Bush | The | Sequel

Bush II – The Sequel

Wednesday, 13 November 2002 12:00 AM

The motivating factor in the Bush II presidency is quite simple:

The entire Bush family has admitted that, according to Barbara Bush, "1992 was the most painful experience of [our] lives."

Thus, learning from his father's White House mistakes, G.W. Bush – with his father running the show behind the scenes – "tweaked" the election formula for 2000: W embraced a tax cut – as opposed to his father's terminal flip-flop on his "Read My Lips" pledge – and firmly planted himself inside the right wing of the GOP, thus forestalling any primary challenges from his right.

Now, heading into 2004's re-election year, Team Bush wants the sequel to be better than the original.

In movies, the sequel is always a rerun of the original: In "Rocky," an underrated and unheralded boxer defeats a heavily favored champ; in subsequent "Rocky" movies – II-V – the same formula applied: Rocky, for a variety of reasons, was always the underdog and then always overcame doubts to win.

Similarly, in the first "Jaws," a killer shark terrifies a small coastal town. In the two subsequent "Jaws" sequels – both awful, by the way (sequels are

Bush I was simple: lousy economy and a war in the Middle East.

The result? Bush loses to Perot and Clinton – in part because the vote was split.

In the Tale of the Bushes, the big challenge is to have the sequel turn out

So, looking at things

Mistake Number One of Bush I was having the Gulf War end

But 18 months later, that President Bush was only able to garner 37 percent of the vote!

What happened?

The recession took hold and eroded his once-soaring popularity. The Gulf War victory faded into the recesses of our memories as the bad economy became "the issue, stupid."

Plus Pat Buchanan in the GOP primaries, and then Ross Perot in the general election, eroded Bush's support from his right flank.

Exactly

So, Bush I was, in sum: a Mideast War, a recession and an angry third-party candidate who split the vote.

Bush II – so far: a Mideast war (the war on terror), a recession – with perhaps yet another dip back into recession looming – and an imminent new war against Saddam.

Team Bush risks repeating the mistakes of Bush I if they whack Saddam now. Such a war – and its undoubtedly successful conclusion – will be ancient history by November 2004. Any political gain – and please remember this column is to discuss

The better course would be to hold off, let the inspection sham go forward and then in the late spring or early summer of 2004 go to war against Saddam.

That way, the 2004 elections will be dominated by Bush vs. Saddam – not by Bush vs. a Democrat nominee.

Furthermore, such a war could – unlike the father's predicament –

That is what it

But the recession – and Perot's siphoning of 19 percent of the vote from Bush – made Bill Clinton the president of the United States.

Bush II, the Sequel needs to be careful that they don't repeat the mistakes that cost the first President Bush his re-election. Otherwise, 2004 could be another "worst year of their lives."

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The motivating factor in the Bush II presidency is quite simple: The entire Bush family has admitted that, according to Barbara Bush, "1992 was the most painful experience of [our] lives." Thus, learning from his father's White House mistakes, G.W. Bush - with his father...
Bush,The,Sequel
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2002-00-13
Wednesday, 13 November 2002 12:00 AM
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