The Vital ‘dynamic Center’
Published: November 17th, 2006
By: Steven and Cokie Roberts

The vital ‘dynamic center’

Which George Bush will show up in January? The president who worked with Democrats as governor of Texas and during his first year in Washington? Or the hard-edged ideologue who ignored the minority party over the last five years and told voters that if the Democrats win, “the terrorists win and America loses.”

And which Nancy Pelosi will take over as speaker? Will it be the representative from San Francisco, the partisan warrior who welded Democrats into a highly disciplined anti-Bush guerilla force? Or will it be Nancy D’Alesandro from Baltimore, who learned the arts of governing and consensus-building from her late father, the mayor of her hometown?

The stakes are huge. Voters sent a clear distress signal. They hate the unending and unwinnable war in Iraq. And they want action on a long list of neglected domestic issues: the retirement of the baby boomers, the influx of immigrants, the underinsurance of America’s families and the over-reliance on foreign oil.

None of these problems can be solved without a return to what Hillary Clinton calls the “vital dynamic center.” The national interest demands that the current president and future speaker resurrect the most essential word in the political lexicon – compromise.


The Evening Sun

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