If you can bear it, read Bush’s first post-election press conference for a taste of the humility ahead. If you can’t, here are some choice bits.

I’ll reach out to everyone who shares our goals. And I’m eager to start the work ahead. I’m looking forward to serving this country for four more years.

…I feel — I feel — I feel it is necessary to move an agenda that I told the American people I would move. Something refreshing about coming off an election, even more refreshing since we all got some sleep last night. But there’s — you — you — you go out and you make your case and you tell the people, “This is what I intend to do.” And after hundreds of speeches and three debates and interviews and the whole process, where you keep basically saying the same thing over and over again, that when — when that — when you win, there is a — a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view. And that’s what I intend to tell the Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let’s work — and the people made it clear what they wanted — now let’s work together. And it’s one of the wonderful — it’s one of the — it’s like earning capital.

You ask, do I feel free? Let me put it to you this way. I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That’s what happened in — after the 2000 election. I earned some capital. I’ve earned capital in this election, and I’m going to spend it for — for what — what I told the people I’d spend it on, which is — you’ve heard the agenda — Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror.

Oh, and he doesn’t take followup questions. New policy to avoid having to remember what he said or possibly get confused, I suppose.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding