"In pre-inaugural comments, Bush sounded defeatist about prospects for a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage. After campaigning on the issue last year, he appeared resigned to failure in the Senate this year. The second-term nominations abound with officials who are comfortable personally with George W. Bush, but do not necessarily follow an ideological course. The first round of nominations contained names provoking outrage on the left: John Ashcroft, Ted Olson, Gale Norton, Linda Chavez (whose nomination was withdrawn) and John Bolton. The second round is less combative. The State Department appears likely to be dominated by careerists under Condoleezza Rice more than it was under Colin Powell. There seems to be no place for Bolton, the conservative bulwark at State as under secretary for arms control since 2001"
The enterprising Jed Graham in the Investors Business Daily writes that Republican expect a good deal out of Bush's ownership society. LINK
Bush agenda: the inaugural address:
The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein says the President offered too narrow a vision to achieve his ends on Thursday. It's not merely an American goal, and cannot be realized solely by American means, Brownstein argues. LINK
"The failure to acknowledge this backlash may have been the most important flaw in Bush's speech. Bush declared freedom a universal right; yet apart from a passing reference to allies, he spoke of its spread as an American mission."
"But the resistance to American preeminence, especially in the Muslim world, means that democracy has a better chance of taking root precisely if it is not seen as an American transplant. That means the first step toward enlarging the world's democracies should be to enlist the existing democracies in the cause of expansion."
The speech isn't a big hit overseas, reports USA Today's Jill Lawrence. LINK
On Sunday, new dad Peter Baker (congratulations!) of the Washington Post wrote that the Bush Doctrine, with its emphasis on "spreading democracy" and "ending tyranny" worldwide is likely to face a less-than-welcoming reception, to say the least, worldwide. LINK
And Jim VandeHei of the Post wrote up 41's moonlighting as a deputy White Hous press secretary doing post-speech spin. LINK
Social Security: the debate:
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman looks at how Bush Administration officials are citing the concerns of former President Clinton and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan over the health and survival of Social Security -- albeit with their different ideas of what should be done to shore it up -- as move evidence that the plan is in crisis. LINK
Today's New York Times editorial raises fears of Starve the Beast. LINK
Sunday's Washington Post had Mike Allen waxing poetic on "private" versus "personal," with a few Milbankian tweaks of the POTUS. LINK
The Washington Post's Sunday Outlook section was chock-full of many many observations about overhauling Social Security. LINK
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty and Eric Roston take a look at why President Bush has chosen Social Security as his big agenda item. LINK
Social Security: Congress: