Daily Briefing: Bewildered at Priorities Edition

The Short Timers Stare Bush interview: "I understand there are many who say, 'Bush is wrong,' I assume I'm right." On Social Security: "I have an obligation to lead on this issue. I have the responsibility to lay out potential solutions." On Iraq: "I fully understand that freedom abroad does not mean Americanization." [WSJ]


Some congressional Republicans already down on Bush's Social Security plan. Kristol: Republicans are "bewildered why this is such a White House priority." [WP]

Conservatives privately gloating over CBS report. Scholar: "If you're a Bush person, it confirms in your mind that the press is out to get Bush." [WP]

Administration tells city to cover inauguration costs by diverting $12m from homeland security fund. [WP]

Bush on tsunami relief: "The intense scrutiny may dissipate, and probably will, but our focus has got to stay on this part of the world." [WP, WT, NYT]

Poll finds stark age gap in support of Social Security restructuring: "These older voters who voted 'values' in 2004 hold the potential for a revolt in 2006." [USAT]

Pentagon considers creating post for intelligence; sign of a turf war. [USAT]

Snow hits Wall Street to build support of Social Security plan; many economist skeptical. [NYT]

Administration wants to restructure funding of private pensions. [WP, NYT, WSJ]

Allan Hubbard named to direct National Economic Council. Bush: "He was the top of the class, which is why I'm the President and he's the adviser." [WP, NYT, WSJ]

Laura choses Oscar de le Renta for inaugural gown; described as "youthful and feminine, not sexy -- the epitome of good taste." [WP, NYT]

Big business loves the big inaugural. [WSJ]

Inauguration tickets are high-tech to prevent counterfeiting. [USAT]

Gingrich is back: "I'm interested in people taking up the ideas and talking about the ideas." [WT]

[AP Photo/Susan Walsh]

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