A Loud Message for Bush - New York Times
A Loud Message for Bush - New York Times: "Everything is different now for President Bush. The era of one-party Republican rule in Washington ended with a crash in yesterday’s midterm elections, putting a proudly unyielding president on notice that the voters want change, especially on the war in Iraq.
Mr. Bush now confronts the first Democratic majority in the House in 12 years and a significantly bigger Democratic caucus in the Senate that were largely elected on the promise to act as a strong check on his administration. Almost any major initiative in his final two years in office will now, like it or not, have to be bipartisan to some degree.
For six years, Mr. Bush has often governed, and almost always campaigned, with his attention focused on his conservative base. But yesterday’s voting showed the limits of those politics, as practiced — and many thought perfected — by Mr. Bush and his chief political adviser, Karl Rove.
In the bellwether states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, two Republican senators, both members of the legendary freshman class of 1994, were defeated by large margins. Across the Northeast, Republican moderates were barely surviving or, like Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, falling to Democrats who had argued that they were simply too close to a conservative president.
Most critically, perhaps, Republicans lost the political center on the Iraq war, according to national exit polls. Voters who identified themselves as independents broke strongly for the Democrats, the exit polls showed, as did those who described themselves as moderates.
Senator Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican who was re-elected yesterday, said that with the election’s results, the administration’s Iraq policy “has to change.”
“It absolutely has to change,” Ms. Snowe said. “And that message should have been conveyed by the administration much sooner.”"