In the News and On the Air: Victory March

Standing By His Men. President Bush is no longer saying "stay the course" but is sticking with advisers who helped set the course.

NPR's Don Gonyea says Mr. Bush expects Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to stay in office for the rest of his term.

The President’s statement was reported as he reassured core supporters at election time, appearing on programs hosted by Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.

Standing By His Plan. It's instructive to watch the White House work at times like this.

Week by week, it modulates its message like a band proceeding through a song — verse, chorus, bridge, chorus.

To those concerned about Iraq, the President emphasized last week that he's "flexible," and there was talk of changing policies.

For supporters this week, the President stood by his advisers, and listened to Rush Limbaugh say that the media fail to report the "tremendous successes that have taken place in Iraq."

The President made headlines both weeks, even though there is little sign his policies have changed.

As support for the war eroded, the White House said it was steadfast but flexible last year, too. And the year before that.

Standing By Their Party.

Some voters, on the other hand, are steadfast and inflexible, especially in key districts.

Democratic volunteer Mike Anthony, talking to an Iowa voter:

Anthony: Do you know who you are gonna vote for?

Voter: Yeah, straight Democrat. I wouldn't vote for the Bush crime family for anything.

NPR's David Greene, speaking with a Republican:

Greene: If...you guys hang on to both majorities, what would that prove about the Republican ability to turn out people?

Dino Tapara: What it would show is even in a tough political environment for a political party, if they are able to motivate their base... they can overcome many difficulties.

Mr. Tapara works in the extensive organization that Republicans have set up to get their voters to the polls.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to read this mass e-mail that just arrived from Laura Bush, called "Final Path to Victory."

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