POLL UPDATE….A new poll shows Americans practically begging Democrats to take the policymaking initiative away from President Bush:

By 59% to 21%, Americans say Congress rather than Mr. Bush should take the lead in setting policy for the nation.

….At the same time, items on the Democrats’ opening agenda for Congress enjoy strong initial backing. More than seven in 10 Americans support raising the minimum wage ? on which Mr. Bush has indicated flexibility ? and forcing the federal government to negotiate lower Medicare drug prices with pharmaceuticals companies ? which Mr. Bush opposes.

The president faces a steeper challenge resisting Democratic initiatives on other economic issues. On energy, 80% favor forcing auto makers to build more fuel-efficient vehicles even if that raises prices; 59% back eliminating tax cuts for oil companies.

Things are so bad for Bush that 59% of the country would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate if he or she had merely served in Bush’s cabinet. I hope Condi is serious when she says she doesn’t plan to run for president.