Bush: Lame Duck, or Just Lame?

On the eve of President Bush's State of the Union address, it seems the country is buzzing about what's new in Washington. However, instead of focusing tonight on what the president may offer Americans, many are spending their time speculating on who will replace him, and whether he can actually get anything accomplished by 2008.

This is not without merit, as Bush's approval ratings dip even lower-only 34 percent of Americans approve of the way he is doing his job-and former supporters find themselves doubting Bush's plans or becoming critics of his policies.

A recent cnn
.com article questions whether the President even has control of his own administration as of late, or if he has literally become a lame duck president with almost two years left in his second term.

In a poll taken by CNN earlier this month, 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the war in Iraq. This figure alone is enough to prove that Bush is struggling to maintain control of his own nation; according to presidential historian Robert Dallek, "War kills reform ... it undermines the president's ability to get anything done in domestic affairs."

It is hard for Americans to put faith in Bush to help solve domestic problems when he has spent the past six years focusing on fighting abroad. War kills reform.

It will become even more apparent that Bush is slowly losing control of his own administration as former friends and supporters seeking re-election in 2008 carefully weigh their options: stay the course and continue to back an unpopular president, or become a critic and risk losing supporters for becoming too moderate?

Presidential hopefuls are even more skeptical to create strong ties to Bush. The next few months will prove to be nothing more than a popularity contest as many declare candidacy, many revoke candidacy, and many are criticized for their laughable bids. With up to ten possible candidates seeking party bids on each side, the primaries are likely to become the Political Prom, with who will be chosen as King (or Queen) up for grabs.

With less than 30 minutes to go until the 2007 State of the Union address, it is important to recognize that what Bush says tonight may matter much less than what will be said in 2009, two years after his supposed "lame duck" term ends.

Or, more significantly, who will be saying it.

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