balloon twisters for christ Bush, empowered by victory, sets to prove compassionate conservatism at home and democracy in the Middle East. Advisor: “There were a large number of people who did not view him as a legitimate president.” [NYT]
Bush to establish bipartisan commission on tax reform; could result in broad changes such as national sales tax or flat income tax. [NYT]
Evangelical Christian groups were more aggressive, better organized than BC04 operatives, especially on gay marriage; Rove, Mehlman, Reed had weekly conference calls with religious leaders. [WP]
Thune, Hastert, Dobson deride Specter‘s comments, vow to intervene with his promotion; Specter denies pro-choice litmus test. [WP, LAT, WSJ, WT]
Rove says Bush will “absolutely” pursue gay marriage amendment. [USAT, WT]

Senior CIA official and author of Imperial Hubris says administration “doesn’t respect the threat” or understand the complexity of Al Qaeda: “We still, today, don’t know the order of battle of Al Qaeda.” [NYT]
Campaign finance reform criticized; candidates raised 70% more than 2000. McCain on FEC: “It’s a corrupt, enabling organization stacked with political hacks.” [NYT]
Administration to revamp environmental laws, push ANWR drilling. EPA administrator: “We will make more progress in less time while maintaining economic competitiveness for the country.” [NYT]
Democrats, having failed to widen battleground, need candidate with appeal in the South and rural Midwest, writes Brownstein; eyes on Vilsack, Richardson, Warner. [LAT]
Bush achieved 44% of Hispanic vote. [WT]
Republican-supporting businesses ready for their windfall. [LAT]
Media turn reflective. Roger Simon: “If we didn’t write about process, my God, we’d have to start writing about policy.” Jonah Goldberg: Liberals “get to be very literary and metaphorical and Freudian and flowery.” [WP]
Bush‘s tailor now thinks bulge was bullet-proof vest. [NYT]

[Bill O’leary — The Washington Post]

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