President Bush Happy With His First 100 Days In Office

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:27pm EDT

( - Even though Monday is the 94th day of his presidency, President Bush, according to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, is pleased with what he has accomplished in his first 100 days of his presidency. He is especially pleased with changing the tone of the nation's capital; the increasing sense of bipartisanship in the Congress and many of the items on his agenda moving at a "healthy" pace.

Fleischer told reporters at Monday's daily press briefing, "many items on the president's agenda are already moving forward and are doing so at a very healthy pace, particularly given the previous way as Congress deliberated. And so the president is very pleased with that."

Among the things, Bush is pleased with accomplishing, according to Fleischer are, "the changing of the tone in Washington, D.C.; increasing sense of bipartisanship, certainly when compared with the previous times; the success he's had substantively; the Senate Education Committee having already passed his education plan, his number one priority - his tax relief plan."

Fleischer added that Bush was pleased with "the marginal income tax rate cuts that have already been voted on and approved by House of Representatives; the reduction of the marriage penalty as approved by the House; the elimination of the death tax as approved by the House and the doubling of the child credit."

Asked if the president had any disappointments or would have done things differently, Fleischer said, "I'll leave disappointments and I'll leave things done differently to others."

It's important to remember, Fleischer reminded reporters, "President Bush was elected in an exceedingly close election, and people said that the president does not have a mandate, that he won't be able to govern. And I think what you're seeing here in these 100 days, because of the manner in which the president has toned it [partisanship] down in Washington, because of the way he's reaching out and working with others, a tremendous amount of progress has been made within these 100 days."

"The progress being that is laid out now is going to lead to more progress later. And that's again, one of the most encouraging factors of this first 100 days," said Fleischer.

On foreign policy, Fleischer said, "The president is doing exactly what he indicated he would do, which is bring a sense of realism to America's foreign policy, a sense of cooperating with other nations where cooperation is possible, and to the degree that there are differences, dealing directly with those differences. It's an approach based on realism."

However, Fleischer said Bush has changed his mind on some issues since taking office.

"I think in the case of several of the well-known examples, CO2, for instance, the president acknowledged that he made a mistake during the campaign in saying that we would seek mandatory reductions in CO2. So I think also it's a sign of a president who can deal with things straight and realistically and honestly. And if a mistake is made, he acknowledges it," said Fleischer.

The president plans to host a lunch next week for members of Congress to celebrate the first 100 days of his administration. Congress returns to work this week after an Easter holiday recess.

But not all comment was favorable about the first 100 days of the Bush administration. A Brookings Institution analysis released on Monday concluded that an "alarmingly high number" of senior positions in the Bush administration had yet to be filled.

Thirteen weeks into his term, the Senate had confirmed only 29 of Bush's top 488 executive branch appointments. That compared to 72 confirmed appointees at this point in the administration of President Ronald Reagan and 42 under President Bill Clinton, according to the Brookings analysis.

In last Saturday's Democratic response to the president's weekly radio address, House Democratic Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.) criticized Bush's record on the environment in his first 100 days.

"Since taking office, the president has treated the big polluters to an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of environmental giveaways. Last month, the Bush administration revoked the important new rules to help rid our drinking water of arsenic: a poison that increases the risk of cancer. The president also broke his campaign promise and announced he wouldn't cut carbon dioxide pollution from power plants," Bonior said.

"Instead of offering America a sound national energy policy," Bonior continued, "President Bush is backing oil company demands to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. President Bush even said that our National Monument lands should be opened to oil and gas interests. When it comes to the public's health and the environment, President Bush and the Republicans are willing to let the big polluters have their way."

Bonior vowed that he and the Democrats would fight Bush over funding of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We're battling to restore the half a billion dollars President Bush wants to take away from the EPA. We're also saying that it's time to invest in the state of the art wastewater treatment systems, renewable energy sources, and energy conservation. And we believe it's time to stop the 'trashing of America' and craft a sensible strategy to protect our land from solid waste," Bonior said.

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