Daily Briefing: Not Known for Sipping White Wines

Barbara Barbara BarbaraRice endorsed 16-2; admits "bad decisions" on Iraq. [WP]

Democrats postpone final votes for Rice, Gonzales. [LAT, NYT, NYT]

Analysis of exit polls finds overestimation of Kerry vote across 26 states; no evidence of fraud or rigging. [WP, NYT, WT]

Nation still split, according to polls: minority are optimistic for second term; approval steady at 50%; approval of handling war on terrorism at 53%; 70% expect changes to Social Security. [WSJ, NYT]

Mehlman takes over RNC: "There's a word for this kind of victory, it's called a mandate." [WP, WT]

Bush's broad goals may be sapped by "second-term curse"; administration looks to apply lessons learned. [WP, WP, WSJ, WSJ, WT, USAT, BG]

Bush, Cabinet nominees repeat refrain: "no mistakes, no regret, no comment." [WP]

Powell says goodbye to State Department: "You are wonderful patriots who serve your nation in the far-flung outposts of American diplomacy." [NYT]

Bush's ambitious agenda faces congressional discord. [WP]

Democrats weigh options: wage total war or pick their fights with caution? [WSJ]

Boxer stands out. [NYT]

Cheney: "I think, in fact, there has been over time a restoration, if you will, of the power and authority of the president." [WP]

Cheney to play pivotal role in Capitol Hill fights. [WP]

Laura to focus on same issues in second term. [WP, NYT]

McCrery explores funding options for Social Security. [WP, NYT]

Bush, by avoiding restaurants and public places, "has led the most isolated, narrow Washington life of any chief executive in modern times." Fleischer: "He's not known for sipping white wines and going to the finer places." [WP, WP]

Conservatives concerned with gayness of SpongeBob SquarePants. [NYT]

Four years changed the man. [USAT]

[AP Photo/Gerald Herbert]


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