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Has the Bush administration run out of gas?

LAT political analyst Ron Brownstein has piece today headlined, Dead-ender presidency. Slate.com's Today's Papers has this synopsis:

The LAT's Ronald Brownstein examines Bush's position on Iraq, stem cells, and global warming to chronicle how the president "has become the dead-ender." On these three issues Bush continues to mostly hold on to his original beliefs, seemingly without taking notice of how the country's opinion is changing around him. On global warming, for example, Bush has still failed to take broad action most believe is necessary to combat the problem even while industry leaders have started to tackle the problem. This means that, on global warming, "there are oil, auto and utility executives showing more urgency than Bush," writes Brownstein. "That's like prisoners worrying that the warden is skimping on security."

It's interesting because I was talking to a number of people in the government IT community -- both government (political and career) and industry -- who have been suggesting that the administration just seems to have run out of gas. This was FCW's lead on the fiscal 2008 budget back in February:

The Bush administration will push to improve existing information technology programs, but it has proposed few major new IT investments in its fiscal 2008 budget request.

I'm trying to remember back to the last years of the Clinton administration, but I believe that the concept for WebGov, later FirstGov, now USA.gov came about.

Here is what one insider said:

It's hard to compare to the last days of the Clinton administration since CIOs, at least, were brand new under Clinger-Cohen. I think the Iraqi war adds to the lack of enthusiasm and low energy too.

I definitely think Iraq is swallowing so much of the administration's attention and political capital, not to mention money, that any new ideas or programs get pushed to the back burner, but it seems like it is going to be a long two years.

At least the 2008 presidential race has started early.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Apr 25, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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