Democrats call their victories a "mandate for change," and President Bush says he recognizes voter unhappiness with the war in Iraq. Thursday, on To the Point, will changes at the Pentagon mean a "new direction?" How long will bipartisanship last in a newly divided government? Plus, how did Arnold Schwarzenegger buck the Democratic tide?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Democrats picked up six governorships from Republicans this week, including Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York, giving them a majority of governors for the first time since 1994. But they did not take California, even though the biggest state in the union is increasingly blue. A year ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger took a political bath when a series of propositions lost big with voters. This week he won re-election with almost 60% of the vote. In addition, a package of public works bonds worth more than $40 billion also passed, despite the fact that California is running a multi-billion-dollar deficit.
While Democratic victories are creating a host of expectations about the next Congress, especially when it comes to Iraq, President Bush says his replacement for Donald Rumsfeld will bring a "new perspective" on Iraq. Meantime, the old, Republican Congress still has work to do, not least of which is the passage of spending bills to keep the government going. President Bush also wants warrantless wiretaps, an energy bill and nuclear technology for India. We hear about his chances and look at the options for changing the course in Iraq, including "regional diplomacy" with Syria and Iran. We look at the options and what might be expected from the Secretary of Defense-designate, Robert Gates. What about diplomacy with Syria and Iran?
Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor (@RussellChaddock)
James Dobbins, Director of International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corp
Reuel Marc Gerecht, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@followFDD)
Richard Shenkman, George Mason University
President Bush lunched at the White House today with Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi. They pledged mutual cooperation when the Democrats take over. Earlier, with his cabinet standing behind him, the President outlined what he wants from the old, Republican Congress when it convenes its lame duck session next week.
Ron Hutcheson, White House Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers