|January 30, 2008|
|President Bush should use his State of Union address to set new policy of cooperation and collaboration|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|President Bush moved into the White House with a promise that his Administration would act in a bipartisan fashion to help the country recover from the bitterly fought `00 election with Al Gore. |
It didn’t turn out that way as the Bush White House abetted by the Republican-controlled Congress rolled over the Democrats until the election of `06.
During his final State of the Union Address, the President should once again vow to work with Congress. He should mean it this time.
The President and Democrats made a fine start last week. Each side made major concessions in hammering out the $150B economic stimulus campaign. Tonight, Bush will drum up support for passage of that package. That’s good.
News reports, however, say the President will rail against “earmarks” during the SOTU, vowing to veto what he sees as pork barrel spending. That’s too bad.
The U.S. faces major challenges that call for cooperation between the executive and legislative branches. Earmarks are minor league stuff.
The occupation of Iraq should be top-of-mind for the President. He should reach out to Congressional leaders to finally tell of his vision about the future of Iraq. Does the President see the need for a 10-year occupation of Iraq? Does he envision American troops in Iraq for more than 50 years as they have been stationed in South Korea? Are the Democrats unrealistic with plans for a speedy withdrawal? It is time for an honest debate. The President could get that ball rolling tonight.
The President also should announce an effort to shore up confidence in the global financial system. The bombshell dropped by Societe Generale and foreign bailouts of American icons Citicorp and Merrill Lynch have highlighted the shaky underpinnings of the financial system.
The White House could tap Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson for a PR campaign designed to assure Americans that the Bush Administration is committed to total transparency and stronger regulation of the worldwide markets.
The President could promise a new policy of cooperation and collaboration when he talks tonight. He should junk the “bully pulpit.” If he doesn’t, the President will be the lamest of ducks for the rest of his term.
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