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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
The president strikes back. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
It was nice to see President Bush taking questions today. This was only his eighth press conference. Bill Clinton at this same point in his administration had given 33 formal press conferences. President Bush, the elder, a whopping 61.
Now to be fair, we have to cut the younger Bush some slack because he's had to deal with a very intense war on terror and the Iraq situation. But the president would be well served to speak as much as possible to the folks. That's because right now the majority of Americans say they will not vote for him again. Just 48 percent would vote for Mr. Bush today, according to a CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup poll.
The good news for Mr. Bush is that only 40 percent would vote for any Democratic candidate, so he'd still win handily.
There are three vital issues the president must confront in order to be re-elected. Number one, the economy. If it slips further, the president's popularity will also slip. Number two, and the most important issue, stopping Americans from being killed in Iraq. And number three, explaining the weapons of mass destruction embarrassment.
Talking Points believes, with any luck, the economy will improve and the Iraqi situation will get much better once Saddam Hussein is found. We must confess, however, we're confused about the WMDs. And Mr. Bush has an obligation to clear this up by the end of the year.
The Democrats are sensing weakness. And there are rumors Hillary Clinton and Al Gore will join the race. But there's one wild card that Mr. Bush has in his hand. Most Americans continue to like him and to have emotion invested in him. Only two presidents have had this advantage in my lifetime, JFK and Ronald Reagan.
The emotion comes because Mr. Bush reacted the way most Americans did after 9/11. He was angry and so were we. He got the Taliban and that's what we wanted him to do. So President Bush can bounce back, and he knows it. But the president should also realize if he does not confront the three aforementioned issues, he could join his father as a one term president.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
I knew when I set up this poll question on billoreilly.com, is the media overdoing gay issues in entertainment, there would be a landslide, and there was.
Ninety-four percent of Americans -- this is unscientific, but, you know, we never get this unless there's a prevailing wisdom out there. Ninety-four percent say, yes, way too much gay stuff in the media. Six percent say no. Of course, 6 percent represent the gay population in the USA.
Going to keep the poll open for another day.
It isn't ridiculous. Most Americans are simply fed up with all this, and I don't blame them.