Table: Where He Is Running into Trouble
THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT
A President lauded for his strength against terrorism is struggling in the Mideast. With neither Arabs nor Israelis heeding his calls for moderation, Bush now looks weak and ineffective. Result: Less confidence in U.S. leadership.
The battle has hit a rough patch. Taliban and al Qaeda remnants are trying to destabilize the regime in Kabul. A drive to choke off terror money is losing steam. And Bush is having trouble mobilizing support against Iraq.
THE DOMESTIC FRONT
The Administration plan to prospect in the Alaskan wilderness would come at a high political cost. Arctic drilling is unpopular among swing voters. Meantime, rising gasoline prices and Mideast oil jitters have the market spooked.
Plans to appoint conservative jurists are in disarray after Senate Democrats rejected the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering. The Right may see its legal agenda stymied unless Republicans recapture the Senate.
The President has been unable to budge Congress with pleas for a terrorism insurance bill. And lawmakers may ignore his "let-the-market-fix-it" dictum and enact tougher post-Enron reforms of pensions and accounting.