BUSH AND SCHIVAO….UPDATE….Yesterday I wondered aloud about the provenance of George Stephanopoulos’s comment on This Week that Republicans were busily leaking the idea that Bush had been reluctant to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Just to close the circle on that, Stephanopoulos emailed today to tell me he had two sources for this. I don’t have links, but here they are:
Newsweek (p. 28): “Accompanying [Bush] on the plane ride were several Florida lawmakers, including Weldon and Martinez, who pressed Bush on the Schiavo case. Though Bush ‘told us that he supported our efforts,’ said Weldon, ‘he said that he didn’t want to get directly involved.’
Time (p.28): “Top Republican staffers on Capitol Hill told TIME that it took some lobbying by congressional Republican leaders, who Bush needs for his controversial Social Security reform and budget cuts, for the President to return on short notice in such a visible role.”
I don’t have any special comment on this, but since I raised the question yesterday I figured I should provide the answer now that I have it. All in all, it sounds like Bush’s standard “compassionate conservatism” schtick: keep the base happy with dramatic action, but then make sure that everyone else understands it was a tough call. I’m reminded of his ever-so-public deliberations over funding of stem cell research back in 2001. Same sort of issue, same sort of reaction.