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The Bush/GOP Agenda

USA Today writes that when he delivers his State of the Union address, Bush will be facing a new audience (a Democratic-controlled Congress) on an old issue (Iraq). Yet: "Unlike Bush's prime-time address on Iraq last week, [press secretary Tony] Snow said, the State of the Union 'has a large domestic component' that will be crafted to find common ground with the Democrats who control Congress. The agenda includes immigration, education and energy." http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-01-18-prez-sotu_x.htm

The Washington Times also discusses the new audience Bush will face. "For the first time, he will address a Democratic majority in the joint chamber. Behind him, right next to Vice President Dick Cheney, will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. This scenario has influenced the speech, which will seek to enunciate issues on which Republicans and Democrats can agree."

The New York Times covers outgoing RNC chairman Ken Mehlman's farewell address yesterday, and it also mentions some of the controversy surrounding his successor, Mel Martinez. "Mr. Martinez is expected to win the job by a large margin, but a handful of dissidents plan to vote against him because of his support for liberalized immigration laws."  

The Washington Times reports, however, that some of Martinez's critics are asking for a secret ballot, so they can vote against him without fear of retaliation. "'If we get the secret ballot as promised, then every member will feel free to express his or her view without the fear of coercion or intimidation,' said RNC member Curly Haugland of North Dakota."