Can Bush Heal The Nation?

A hollow victory and little political capital could vex consensus-building

When he first began to muse about a run for the White House, George W. Bush knew one thing for certain. He wanted to reduce destructive political warfare in a Washington that seemed to have lost its senses. The formative influences on the Texan's thinking aren't hard to divine. He was seared by the partisan firestorm Presidents Reagan and Bush Senior encountered over the aborted appointments of Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court and Texas Senator John Tower to the Defense Dept. Bush was equally repulsed by Republicans' reaction: the harsh, in-your-face leadership style displayed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the wake of the GOP's 1994 takeover of the House of Representatives.

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