White House Watch: Bush upbeat as year ends
President Bush and his White House strategists believe the administration is ending the year on an upbeat note and they see signs that 2006 will bring a recovery of the president's political fortunes. Vice President Cheney's breaking a tie in the Senate this morning to win passage for legislation cutting the federal deficit by $39.7 billion is the latest positive sign. White House insiders say this shows that the White House and the Republican majority in Congress can still work their will despite increasingly determined Democratic opposition and doubts about the president's agenda from a handful of GOP moderates.
Bush thinks the country will side with him on the domestic spying furor that has erupted in the past few days. Bush is still feeling upbeat about the generally smooth Iraqi election last week. He is confident the Senate will soon approve his nominee Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. And White House advisers note an uptick in his job-approval numbers and support for the war in Iraq, at least in some polls.
"The president is feeling quite good about where things are headed," a senior White House official told U.S. News.