5th-year blues bedevil Bush

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Presidential historian George Edwards of Texas A&M University, now temporarily at Oxford University in England, says Bush has suffered the same fifth-year fate as other presidents, misinterpreting the meaning of re-election and failing to recognize the downside of a second term: becoming a lame duck.

"Look at what happened to George W. Bush," Edwards said. "The first time he doesn't get a plurality. Then he gets 50.8 percent. He seemed to be very relieved.

"Two days after he announces he has earned political capital and he is going to spend it, he announces a bold and aggressive agenda," Edwards said. "This is interesting because this is the guy with the smallest electoral vote of any newly re-elected president since Woodrow Wilson and the biggest agenda of any second-term president since FDR.

"It just doesn't mesh. He grossly overestimated his political capital. Hubris, whatever, I can't explain it. He didn't have a lot of political capital. That was wrong."

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