Rowan University Professor Sees Big Changes, ?Big Fights? Ahead During President Bush?s Next Four Years

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Less than a month after the completion of the close presidential race, big changes have already taken place in the Bush administration. However, the recent Cabinet resignations and nominations are ju
Less than a month after the completion of the close presidential race, big changes have already taken place in the Bush administration. However, the recent Cabinet resignations and nominations are just the beginning of the stormy times ahead for the White House and Congress, said Rowan University political science professor and presidential scholar Dr. Larry Butler.

?As Washington readies for the new term, all signs point to renewed confrontation,? Butler said. ?President Bush is restocking his cabinet with party loyalists dedicated to advancing an ambitious agenda and rather than using his lame duck status to simply preserve the status quo, indications are that the president will charge ahead.?

The first big fight on the horizon may be Social Security reform, Butler said. Throughout Bush?s re-election campaign and in the weeks since the race ended, the White House has hinted it will make an early effort to reform the Social Security system, a politically sensitive proposition. ?In political circles, Social Security is known as ?the third rail of American politics,? so highly sensitive that like the electrically charged third rail of a train track, touching it can end political lives,? said Butler

Reports regarding the health of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist have heightened the intensity of the coming battle over judicial nominations, Butler said. The Senate is girding itself for a long fight. Conservative interest groups have declared war on the presumptive new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, while Republican leaders resume talk of rewriting Senate procedures to eliminate the Democrats? ability to filibuster judicial nominees. Even so, ?the willingness of Senate Democrats to block judges they consider controversial is unflagging,? said Butler.

The next four years should prove interesting as an ambitious president and wary Congress come to terms with each other, Butler said. But the process won?t be easy. ?President Bush has always said that he wants to accomplish big things with the presidency. In Washington, big changes don?t happen without big fights,? he said.

Dr. Larry Butler is the author of Claiming the Mantle: How Presidential Nominations Are Won and Lost Before the Votes Are Cast (Westview Press). He holds a doctoral degree in politics from Princeton University, master?s degrees in political science and economics from George Washington University and George Mason University, respectively, and a bachelor?s degree in economics from Washington & Lee University. As assistant professor of political science at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., Butler teaches courses in American government, Congress, campaigns and elections, the Presidency, political science research methods, and political parties and interest groups.

For more information on what's in store during the final four years of the Bush administration, contact Dr. Larry Butler at 856-256-4500, x3985 or lbutler@usa.net, or contact the Rowan University Relations Department at 856-256-4583.

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