From The New York Times:
Bush, Facing Troubles, Focuses on War and Taxes
And we know how difficult it is for the little fella to focus!
Original movie poster.
WASHINGTON — Facing an unstable economy and an unfinished war, President Bush used his final State of the Union address Monday night to call for quick passage of his tax rebate package, patience in Iraq and a modest concluding agenda that includes $300 million in scholarship money for low-income children in struggling schools.
Yet Mr. Bush devoted relatively little of his 53 minute speech to the economy, the issue that is the top concern of voters during this election year. He spent far more time talking about the issue that has been his own primary concern, Iraq.
Mr. Bush made the case that his troop buildup had “achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago,” and reminded Americans that in coming months, 20,000 troops will have come home. Yet he avoided any timetable for further withdrawal and, if anything, seemed to be preparing the country for a far longer-term stay in Iraq, warning that a precipitous withdrawal could lead to a backslide in security.
Facing the realities of a final year in office, with little time to win legislation from a Congress controlled by Democrats, Mr. Bush used the address to emphasize his power to block actions that he opposes. He vowed to veto any tax increases or legislative earmarks that were not voted on by the full Congress.
Democrats responded by saying that Mr. Bush had offered “little more than the status quo,” in the words of the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California.
In one poignant sign that his time is short, Mr. Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, were seated in the first lady’s box. It was the first time they had attended one of their father’s State of the Union addresses.
I guess the bars were closed. I wonder if Laura shared her Valium with the twins. And did you see what Jenna and not-Jenna were wearing?! Do they dress with the lights off?
Looking ahead, on domestic affairs, Mr. Bush called on Congress to reauthorize his signature education bill, No Child Left Behind, and to pass pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. He asked lawmakers to make his tax cuts permanent, and implored them to renew legislation permitting intelligence officials to eavesdrop on the communications of terrorism suspects and to provide legal immunity to phone companies that have helped in the wiretapping efforts.
After his big night, Chimpy was exhausted, so Dick Cheney took him home.