Press Conference: Social Security and Partisanship

President Bush tonight:

Too often the temptation in Washington is to look at a major issue only in terms of whether it gives one political party an advantage over the other. Social Security is too important for politics as usual.

We agree. We only wish White House officials felt the same way:

“Bush and his aides rarely reveal the political underpinnings of their policy agenda. But their ambitions were evident last month, when a memo by a senior White House strategist concerning the emerging Social Security plan was leaked to the media. The memo, written by Peter Wehner, director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, put the stakes in grand political terms, saying there would be enduring benefits for Republicans if the president’s plans succeeded and Democrats came out of the debate as the ‘party of the past.’ ‘For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win — and in doing so, we can help transform the political and philosophical landscape of the country,’ Wehner wrote.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/2/05]