Table: A Tug to the Center?
Don't count on it. Despite opposition abroad and the shift of power back to the Democrats in the Senate, for the most part, Bush is sticking to his conservative agenda
Although the Administration's energy plan was a political flop, it will continue to focus on oil, gas, and coal production. The White House has added measures encouraging conservation and efficiency, but the moves haven't convinced independent voters that Bush is serious about such alternatives.
Bush isn't backing down from his opposition to the Kyoto accord. But he could alienate voters, and even the business community, if he doesn't come up with a strong alternative to combat greenhouse gases.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Bush took a beating for blocking protections against arsenic in drinking water and repetitive-stress injuries. The Administration vows to come up with better, more balanced regulations. But now the White House is open to charges that it is stalling before proposing rules favorable to its corporate allies.
Bush pledged to pull troops out of the Balkans, lessen U.S. involvement in the Middle East, and oppose International Monetary Fund bailouts. He has changed course on these and other issues. But he won't yield on his ambitious missile-defense shield.