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THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Bring back the president who rallied scared nation

With President Bush's job rating dipping to 33 percent, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton this week put his presidency in a much-needed perspective.

Asked to say one nice thing about President Bush, she did better. She praised him for his charm and charisma. "He's been good company," she said.

But he's been more, and the often-maligned wife of the former president was quick to pay tribute to Mr. Bush's leadership following 9/11.

She said he pledged to rebuild New York City and kept his word. Of rebuilding the city she said, "He always kept it on track ... He made sure we got the resources that we needed ... When the people I represented needed his help, he was there for us," she said.

Now into his sixth year as president, Mr. Bush's leadership immediately following the day terrorists hijacked and crashed those four jetliners is clearly his finest hour.

Since that time, though, a majority of Americans came to disagree with him on the war in Iraq, on the massive federal deficit, on his immigration policy, and to blame him for high gasoline prices.

They also disagree with his domestic spying policies and have deep concerns about the nation's future.

Americans want leadership.

Sen. Clinton said Mr. Bush kept the New York City recovery on track. But his second term as president is different. There is no direction, no energy. Things don't appear to be on track.

Perhaps it is because the war constantly saps the nation's vitality.

The nation needs the President Bush who stood on top of the World Trade Center twin tower rubble and who both calmed and rallied the nation in one of its darkest moments.

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