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Bush on top


TRUE TO his gentleman's code, President Bush refrained from gloating the other evening as he stood before Congress, and listened and watched as wave after wave of applause washed over him, and standing ovations greeted various phrases in his half-hour speech.

The president certainly had reason to feel gratified.

Yet it is worth noting that humility, as much as pride, was the note that the president repeatedly struck last Wednesday evening.

This tells us a lot about George Bush as well. The president would be foolish to waste the political capital he has accumulated, but it is evident that Bush does not expect to settle scores or cause havoc or seek vengeance in the capital.

The president has been criticized by those who believe that his "domestic agenda" is not nearly as ambitious as it should be. But just as Bush believes that the success of the war has "kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all," he may also find that the political equivalent of the Vietnam syndrome has been exorcised as well. Can George Bush translate his foreign success into home-grown accomplishment? The task is as formidable as Desert Storm itself. But the country surely welcomes a newly strengthened presidency, a harmonizing Congress, a sense of possibilities. Now the real challenge is to get things done.

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