I've been confused for some time about the president's economic vision, as, I suspect, have many of you. After months of close textual analysis, though, I think I've narrowed down the source of that confusion. It's the word "opportunity," or, more precisely, what the president means when he says it.
"This changed world can be a time of great opportunity for all Americans to earn a better living, support your family and have a rewarding career," Bush said in his acceptance speech last week in New York. Perhaps it can, but on initial inspection, it sure isn't yet.
There is apparently not much to George W. Bush's presidency except his resolve.
Judging by the speeches of Sen. John McCain and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani on the Republican convention's opening night, the president has no record whatever on matters economic, nor -- remarkably for a wartime president -- much of one when it comes to conducting the war in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
What the president does have is leadership -- pure, undiluted determination, a virtue that transcends such considerations as where exactly he is leading us. At other periods in our history, issues might matter, Giuliani noted, but "in times of danger, as we are now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision."
NEW YORK -- On Eighth Avenue Wednesday afternoon, New York union members have gathered to tell the president what they think of him and his economy and his war (and that just begins the list). But the most indignant reaction I encounter from the assembled workers comes from Harold Aken, a firefighter from Rye, New York, and his ire is not directed at the president. When I tell Aken that the New York City local of the Firefighters, the first union to back Kerry way back before the primaries began, has just broken ranks and is endorsing Bush -- and, worse yet, had decided to welcome Bush to the Big Apple -- he is apoplectic.
NEW YORK -- The National Federation of Republican Women is in the Clifford Odets Room at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, but -- fortunately, I suppose -- they have no idea who Clifford Odets actually was. It's not that Marriott, a famously non-union chain with Republican owners, has a thing for onetime communist playwrights per se. But the Marriott Marquis is not only in the heart of the theater district; it actually contains a theater where plays and musicals -- currently, the umpteenth revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie -- run.
ELYRIA, Ohio -- In theory, Dan Imbrogno shouldn't be a voter George W. Bush has to worry about. Imbrogno, a lifelong Republican, Ohioan, and business executive, looks like central casting's idea of the model Bush voter.
Imbrogno is president and chief executive of Ohio Screw, a precision-parts manufacturer located in this working-class suburb of Cleveland. In newer and more upscale suburbs, office parks may dot the landscape, but in Elyria, small factories were plunked down in residential neighborhoods many decades ago, and, whether open or shuttered, there they remain.