According to President Bush and his administration, he has earned some political capital during the last campaign and he intends on spending it. If that is true, then I would argue that this state of the Union address was his budget for how he plans to spend his political capital.
We are in a very unique national political situation for the next 4 years. For the first time in decades, the next presidential campaign will not have an “incumbent” running for the highest office in our nation (and arguably the world).
So, when President Bush claims he has political capital to spend, to a limited extent, he also has it to spend with little threat of it affecting his ambitions. Now that doesn’t mean it couldn’t hurt the Republican Party. But, he does have a little more wiggle room, than he did 4 years ago, and more wiggle room the President Clinton, or President Bush 41.
So, what did President Bush outline as his political capital budget?
In three simple words: Social Security Reform.
And, I like what he had to say. Sure, I don’t think that it is perfect. And as the cynic that I am, I am afraid that it could be stolen from us again.
But for me it comes down to this one simple statement: “the money in the account is yours, and the government can never take it away.” This is best policy. Don’t give my money to my dad. Either let me do it, or let me save it for myself. Then, if I choose let the money be my children’s when I pass on.
President Bush was also very careful to outline, that he is open to new ideas. He is willing to hear from all. Granted, he is firm on giving the control back to the people, but he isn’t so naïve to believe that he has the only solution, or all of the ideas.
Another important topic that he addressed was importance of the liberation of
Iraq. With the all important discussion about Sunday’s vote, President Bush introduced Safia Taleb al-Suhail, who is one of the newly elected “congress member.”
He also addressed the sorrow of all of the lost men and women who fought for the freedom that allowed for this vote. He introduced Janet and Bill Norwood whose son, Sergeant Byron Norwood of
Pflugerville, Texas, gave his life.
My impression of this can only be expressed by this picture:
Note the dog tags. You might have missed it, but after the embrace, the dog tags got snagged on Mrs. Al-Suhail’s sleeve. I see an interesting symbolism in that mishap.
The ties that bind…. The ties that bind….