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The Education of President Bush

by Editorial Board
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - August 21, 2003

President Bush ought to pay attention to more than his campaign rhetoric while he is here in Washington.

Certainly, in this rather liberal region, he will find comfort in the support of many, even among those who opposed war, for a genuine reconstruction of Iraq. But he might wince over other notions.

Visiting the Eastside, the president might notice that we are one of the states where his economic policies have helped mow down jobs at near-record levels. From Seattle, he might catch wind of the school election campaign, where concerns grow about how to implement his No Child Left Behind law without more money.

While he's in the Tri-Cities area to visit a dam, he could really learn a lot -- about continuing salmon challenges, electricity concerns and his Energy Department's shocking lack of cooperation with the state on cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

As with any presidential visit, the opportunities for taking stock of local conditions will be limited. In public, the president probably will read and believe expected remarks on how well salmon are doing (thanks mainly to ocean conditions, not his policies).

No doubt, contributors will make sure the president departs with warm feelings about his visit.

But it would be even better to think he might leave with more understanding of Washington -- the state.

Editorial Board
The Education of President Bush
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 21, 2003

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