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   Bush Stubborn Streak an Issue

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4/3/2004 12:00 am

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Associated Press

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Analysis

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Entered 4/3/2004, Updated 4/3/2004

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Bush Stubborn Streak an Issue The Rocky Mountain News While his re-election campaign is capable of lightning-quick responses, President Bush himself is often slow to respond to major dilemmas until forced to do so by rising political heat. It's a pattern Bush has set before, one of seeming to be intractable even to the point of political damage: (1) He waited until the last minute last December before lifting 20-month-old tariffs on foreign steel. (2) He has never taken responsibility for the fact that weapons of mass destruction haven't been found in Iraq. (3) It took Bush weeks to take personal responsibility for his erroneous State of the Union claim in January 2002 that Saddam Hussein was shopping for nuclear materials in Africa. (4) The White House continues to refuse to budge on releasing information about closed-door meetings of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, which crafted the administration's energy policy. The matter is now before the Supreme Court. (5) His dogged insistence in 2001 on creating a national defense against incoming ballistic missiles from hostile states wore down most of his international and domestic critics. (6) Restricting Rice's availability, and his own, to the Sept. 11 commission. When he finally capitulated last week and agreed to let Rice testify under oath and in public, and agreed that he and Cheney would go before the full commission in a private session, much of the damage had been done - and it looked like Bush was buckling to political pressure.


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