... Bush's popularity depends to a large degree on the fact that he has acted in a statesmanlike way, that he has been above the political bickering and acted for the security of the nation. But there are critics. The influential columnist Thomas Friedman says in The New York Times that he wishes (former vice president Al) Gore was in the White House. Friedman claims that Bush has tried to use the enormous upswing of patriotism and cooperativeness that was triggered by the Sept. 11 tragedy to pursue a narrow-minded rightist policy. No attempt to show determination or leadership in domestic politics has been seen. Now the domestic reality will slowly but steadily catch up with the president. It is therefore not a wild guess that he, when November approaches, will let international politics sink away, roll up his sleeves and make for the election campaign. And then, most things in the United States will be the same as ever, including the president's popularity.
-- Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden
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