WHITE HOUSE UPDATE….Time magazine says it’s not the next three years that George Bush is worrying about, but the next six months:

The marker that is uppermost in the minds of Bush’s inner circle is Nov. 7, when Republicans could lose control of the House and even the Senate. “If we don’t keep Congress, there won’t be a legacy,” said a presidential adviser. “The legacy will be investigations and fights over Executive privilege” with newly empowered Democrats.

That sounds about right to me. Also amusing is this take on Bush’s ongoing attempt to reinvent himself: “Aides have claimed to be rebooting the second term so many times (at least three, by Time’s count) that even their allies have lost track.” And here I thought Bush was a straight talkin’ Texan who was comfortable in his own skin. What’s all this “rebooting” talk?

You’ll also want to check out the White House’s 5-point plan for success, which turns out to have approximately zero actual substance except for one thing: a plan to get tough with the mullahs. “In the face of the Iranian menace, the Democrats will lose,” says an unnamed GOP apparatchik. Maybe so, but this time I wonder. It sometimes seems that the American public really does have an unending appetite for “getting tough” with whichever enemy du jour the White House casts its increasingly feckless gaze on, but I think it’s just possible that Bush might have gone to this well one time too many. Getting tough hasn’t worked out too well so far, and the public might well be ready for some straight talk on the subject.