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   A Time to Regroup

NEWS INFORMATION

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News Date

11/11/2005 1:00 am

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TIME Magazine

Category

General

Database Record

Entered 11/11/2005, Updated 11/11/2005

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Bloodied by scandal, setbacks and casualties, Bush is looking for fresh troops and a new battle plan By NANCY GIBBS, MIKE ALLEN Nov. 7, 2005 You have to wonder sometimes why Presidents even run for re-election, given how things usually turn out. Second terms have a way of veering into wild and menacing terrain, spiked with indictments and scandals and betrayal and grief. Some friends become less friendly because they know you are on your way to retirement while they are on their way to the next campaign. Your team gets tired, the ideas stale, and the fumes of power more toxic. It was through those badlands that President George W. Bush trudged last week, and for once he was walking alone. "The problem is that the President doesn't want to make changes," says a White House adviser who is not looking for a West Wing job, "but he's lost some of his confidence in the three people he listens to the most." Those three are his Vice President, Dick Cheney, whose top aide, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, has been charged with brazenly obstructing the investigation into who leaked the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame; Bush senior adviser Karl Rove, who while not indicted has still emerged as a player in the scandal; and chief of staff Andrew Card, who gets some of the blame for bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina and even more for the botched Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers. "All relationships with the President, except for his relationship with Laura, have been damaged recently," the White House adviser says. The closest aide who is undamaged is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice--who is off minding the rest of the world--and, of course, Bush himself. "The funny thing is everybody's failing now, in which case perhaps it's time to look at George Bush's relationship with George Bush."


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