Bush Revels in Very Good Week

ByABC News via logo

June 16, 2006 — -- It's been the kind of week that President Bush and the beleaguered White House have only dreamed about.

A spate of polls now shows a slight rise in public confidence in the war in Iraq after Bush conducted a high-powered summit at Camp David on the Iraq war, made a surprise trip to Baghdad to meet with troops and newly elected Iraqi government leaders, and then returned home to a triumphant Rose Garden news conference.

In addition, Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, learned he would not face charges related to the 2003 leak of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.

This may have been the president's best week ever.

However, Bush isn't out of the cross hairs. His overall approval rating remains at 37 percent, and late-night comics are still poking fun at him.

"Said the Iraqi prime minister to the president, 'If I knew you were coming, I would have built an infrastructure,'" said "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart.

Some critics say the White House may not have real cause for celebration.

"This past week is to the White House a welcome change from a spate of bad news," said Thomas Mann, a senior fellow in governance studies for the Brookings Institute, a conservative Washington think tank.

"But underlining the good news is the reality that nothing substantive has changed yet."

Still, there are now some building blocks in place for permanent improvement.

Three key personnel changes in recent months helped to lay the groundwork for the rush of confidence.

Josh Bolton is now chief of staff; Tony Snow is press secretary; and Hank Paulson has been tapped as treasury secretary.

The death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a key moment in the war on terror as Maj. Gen. William Caldwell displayed the framed picture of his lifeless face in triumph at a news conference last week.

Bush has reason to be confident -- but he should be wary of overconfidence, experts say.

"He definitely is feeling confident, but again that's when he gets in trouble," said Time magazine contributor Ana Marie Cox.

"That's when the 'Bushisms' happen. That's when we see his hubris."

ABC News' Claire Shipman reported this story for "Good Morning America."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events