I WONDER WHAT HE’LL TRY NEXT?….In a nakedly political move designed solely to pander to voters in key electoral states, President Bush imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel last year. So how’s it going?

Eighteen months later, key administration officials have concluded that Bush’s order has turned into a debacle. Some economists say the tariffs may have cost more jobs than they saved, by driving up costs for automakers and other steel users. Politically, the strategy failed to produce union endorsements and appears to have hurt Bush with workers in Michigan and Tennessee — also states at the heart of his 2004 strategy.

“They tried to play politics, and it looked like it was working for a while,” said Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist with ties to the administration. “But now it’s fallen apart.”

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

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