‘It looks like we are coming out of the recession,’ Stephanopoulos said. ‘Wages are starting to go up. Productivity is starting to go up. Generally if you look at polls across the country people respect President Bush even when people don’t agree with his policies. He has an amazingly strong hold on the Republican party. He’s not going to have a primary opponent. I think when you add all that up it puts President Bush in a very strong position going into the next election.’
Stephanopoulos said he expects the campaign will occur during a good economy and that national security will be the biggest campaign issue, something Democrats classically have had a hard time with. He was especially discouraged by front-runner Howard Dean’s campaign based on antiwar outrage, believing Americans will prefer Republican optimism.
“I was meeting with Bush officials today,” Stephanopoulos said, “and they were salivating to run against Howard Dean so they can accuse him of raising taxes.”
—The Daily Northwestern: