Facing an unstable economy and an unfinished war, President Bush used his final State of the Union address Monday night to call for quick passage of his tax rebate package, patience in Iraq and a modest concluding agenda that includes $300 million in scholarship money for low-income children in struggling schools.
With Senate Democrats already jockeying to amend the stimulus package that the administration negotiated with the House last week, Mr. Bush, in his address, urged lawmakers to resist the temptation to "load up the bill" with other provisions. To do so, he warned, "would delay or derail it, and neither option is acceptable."
Yet Mr. Bush devoted relatively little of his 53 minute speech to the economy, the issue that is the top concern of voters during this election year. He spent far more time talking about the issue that has been his own primary concern, Iraq.