Watching President Bush's news conference this morning, you would never think he was a man on the ropes. His approval ratings are appallingly low, the public does not trust him to handle the war, and the Democrats are all but putting up party decorations to celebrate recapturing the White House.
Yet, Mr. Bush is on the attack and clearly sensing weakness in the Democratic front. How can this be?
Maybe because the Democrats are becoming their own worst enemies, and fast:
- Their top presidential candidates will make no commitment to when or how they will end the war in Iraq, infuriating the left-wing of their party and puzzling the public, which wants such a plan from the Democrats.
- The Democratic governor of New York, a massively important state in any election, wants to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, despite public outcry against it.
- National Democrats are at war with their state counterparts over the primary voting schedule.
- And somehow, at a time when economic worries are rising fast, Democratic forces in Congress are openly sparring with each other over legislation regarding what happened to Armenians almost a hundred years ago, legislation which could cost American troops in Iraq important logistical support from the country of Turkey.
There are dedicated, well-meaning Democrats involved in all these measures who firmly believe in what they are doing. But overconfidence has been the downfall of many potential winners.
The Raw Politics Read: George Bush and the Republicans are on the ropes, but if the Democrats continue wandering down all these political side streets and ignoring the issues that concern the vast moderate middle of voters, they may find there is plenty of room on the ropes for both parties.
What do you think: Are the Democrats squandering the goodwill of voters at a critical time?
-- By Tom Foreman, CNN Correspondent