The same people who predicted the Senate would fail to pass any bill are now saying that the House and Senate will never be able to compromise, but the President is focused on enabling both houses of Congress to work together. This week, the President will make another trip to the border and continue to advocate for comprehensive reform. I've been assured by someone (I forget who) that members of Congress home for the Memorial Day recess found that their constituents were remarkably swayed by the President's primetime address on immigration and they now believe, as Teddy Kennedy does, that the President is on the right track here. OUR BASE IS STOKED!!!.
Although we loath polls here, surveys show Americans strongly support a comprehensive approach. For example, proposals to allow illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years and meet other requirements (pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English, have a clean criminal record) to apply for legal status garner the support of nearly 80 percent of Americans in a CNN poll (5/16-5/17) and 77 percent in a CBS News poll (5/16-5/17), including 76 percent of Republicans. With numbers like that, we are on the precipice of forgiving that whole National Guard/forged documents thing. Any outfit that can poll so well must know what it's doing.
Economy: America's economy is flourishing; why no one seems to appreciate that is totally beyond me. Statistics may seem like abstract numbers -- until you put yourself in the shoes of an American worker filling one of the 5.3 million new jobs created since August 2003 (less so in the shoes of people who have lost their jobs to one of those illegal aliens). And while the critics will continue to focus on everything that could go wrong with our economy, or on the trade deficit, or on income inequality, or on rising health care costs, or on the bleeding of manufacturing jobs, or on sky-high college tuition, or on the broad-based economic insecurity that our own three pollsters say exists in every region of the country, the President and our allies in Congress are working to ensure we build on the economic momentum underway.
I would cite a New York Times columnist here to support my position, but that is a slippery slope this old Texas boy will not get on.
Conclusion: From uniting the world community in preventing Iran from making a nuclear weapon to successfully installing qualified officials at home, and from assisting the Iraqi people in setting up a unity government to overseeing a strong economy that continues to create jobs for American workers, President Bush's leadership is achieving a steady flow of results that do not always dominate the day's headlines on their own but that together represent real progress for the American people.
The President knows more work must be done, which is why I have to stay late at the office again tonight. But I can tell you this: if no one but The Note picks this thing up, I'm not going to waste any more time writing these happy talk memos.
As Bartlett suggests, the California U.S. House seat special election is the marquee race for the Gang of 500 in today's primaries, but nationally, it's the Super Tuesday of the 2006 primary season. Eight states are holding primaries.