Bush's Big Sweep

Riding high after his party's victory, the President has a new mandate. But as the economy weakens, there's no cakewalk ahead

It was an election with almost no political downside for a President riding high in the polls. If Republicans suffered setbacks in the Nov. 5 elections, the White House was ready to blame the midterm curse that afflicts virtually all rookie Commanders-in-Chief. But George W. Bush decided to roll the dice. He put his prestige and record-breaking job-approval ratings on the line and set out on frantic cross-country visits to key swing states.

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