Just as there was a new President Clinton in the White House
after the Republican ascension to control of Congress in 1994, so
there is a new George W. Bush in the White House these days, moving to
the center, reaching our for consensus, embracing a national
constituency. It will prove a liberating experience for him and an
exhilarating one for the country.

The first signs came when he ousted Rumsfeld. Then he KO'ed
warrantless wiretapping. Now he speaks about fighting global climate
change, raising CAFE motor vehicle efficiency standards, and expanding
health insurance coverage.

The Republicans failed to deliver for him, so he is reaching out to
the center, to the swing voters, to bolster his approval ratings to
the point where he has the political heft to survive in the
carnivorous capital and still keep fighting in Iraq.

Suddenly he is talking about the economy, energy independence and
the falling price of oil and gas. Look for his approval ratings to
move up and up and up. He's the new boy in town these days.