With a few exceptions, such as education and immigration policy, he has targeted his central initiatives — tax cuts, judicial appointments, the unilateral projection of U.S. power abroad — primarily at the priorities of conservatives while conceding little to interests outside his coalition.There has never been a moment in his presidency when he hasn't been campaigning and governing for his constituency. This is why it took him only a matter of months to destroy the bipartisan goodwill the country experienced after 9/11. He immediately set about using it as a wedge issue to win the next election.
In Congress and across the country, that ideologically polarizing agenda has helped Bush unify and excite Republicans. But it has come at the cost of antagonizing Democrats and straining his relations with independent voters.
This strategy has rested on the calculation that if Bush generates enough turnout on election day from Republicans and conservative-leaning independents, he can survive unease among moderate independents and intense opposition from Democrats.
I look forward to the day when the whole country has a President again, be he or she Republican or Democratic.