White House communications officials said today that President Bush's Thursday press conference indicated that the administration plans to press hard to secure the public's backing for the president's new agenda. "We're not going to waste the momentum. We're pushing hard," said a senior official. Administration aides said that the White House plans to promote different elements of the president's second term agenda each week, skipping the normal practice of lying low until the next budget is unveiled.
"We're continuing with the election agenda. We aren't joking," said another official. Administration officials said they are already looking at ways to take advantage of the post-election news drought to push programs such as Social Security reform and changes to the tax code. The officials said that the president believes his best chance to make legacy-enhancing changes is in his first year of the second termbefore the congressional reelection period and the 2008 presidential race kick in. The officials also said that Bush hopes to make enough popular reforms that he can add to the GOP House and Senate headcount in 2006. Paul Bedard, U.S. News