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Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Bush's 100 days: BBC's Nick Bryant took your questions
George W. Bush has just clocked up 100 days as US President - and in that time he has made a mark both at home and abroad.
On the international stage, he's made a series of high-profile moves. He has spurned the international effort to reduce global warming, called off talks with North Korea about its missiles, authorised air strikes on Iraq, expelled 50 Russian spies and signalled a tougher line on China.
At home he has pushed through measures to cut public spending while giving tax cuts to the very rich and he has been accused of doing too much to help big business. But according to a recent US poll, his standing at home has gone up by 5% since he was elected.
Is Bush meeting the expectations of Americans? What kind of leader is he turning out to be? What do his first 100 days tell us about what the rest of his presidency will bring?
The BBC's Washington Correspondent, Nick Bryant, answered your questions on Dubya's performance so far.
56k Click here to watch Nick Bryant's forum
Highlights of interview:
But I think what we saw during the China crisis over the spy plane incident was Bush being quite moderate in his approach there. There were tough words at the beginning but he ratcheted back the rhetoric mid-way through and partly that was the fear that US-China relations could really sour.
The worry was that trade could be affected and I think that will be a dominant theme of Bush's foreign policy - that trade will be very high up on the agenda. American business is keen to do a lot of trade with China - billions of dollars worth of trade in China - and I think that will have a big impact on the way that America has developed its relationship both with Russia and China.
Are we going to see a new Cold War? I don't think we are. American businesses wouldn't like to see that - Cold Wars aren't good for US profits.
I think there is something of the Ronald Reagan about this presidency. Ronald Reagan, rather like George Bush didn't really deal with the detail of policy - he often delegated authority to his deputies. He built a very strong team at the White House and he relied on them to a certain extent. He had a broad brush approach - he tried to paint a vision of where America should be going and he let other people fill in the detail.
Bush is very similar. He has got a sunny optimistic personality just like Ronald Reagan. He seems to have this amiable approach which a lot of American people seem to like and I believe this has helped him overcome the controversy surrounding Florida as well.
However a lot of people in Europe and indeed in America, question his intellectual capabilities - whether he really has the brainpower to be a good executive. But at the moment a lot of American people don't seem to be too worried about that - they think he has a good team around him. Dick Cheney, as vice-president, they believe is doing a pretty good job. There is a lot of support for George W. Bush simply on his personality and style alone.
If you remember, Bill Clinton wanted to become involved with the problems of Burundi in the final days of his presidency. We saw Bill Clinton involved again in some very complex peace talks in Northern Ireland - taking a very key role in the run-up to the Good Friday Agreement. I don't think we are going to see Bush in any way replicate Bill Clinton on that front. First of all I don't think he is particularly interested in the problems of Burundi and Northern Ireland and secondly, he just doesn't think that America should be involved.
So we are going to see this much narrower definition of America's self-interest. We are going to see a far less energetic foreign policy. Bush isn't going to be intervening in the affairs of individual countries. The biggest indication of that policy is in the Middle East - we have real problems at the moment between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Bill Clinton it is inconceivable to think wouldn't have taken a more hands-on approach to that problem but Bush is sitting back right now waiting to see how things turn out before he really lets America get fully involved in that peace process.
I think they have also made a political calculation that it is good right now to get the right-wing on board, even it means losing some moderate and democratic support. George Bush Senior had a real problem in the early days of his presidency - he spoke of this kinder, gentler America and many thought he was disavowing the legacy of Ronald Reagan, the hero of the Republican right. George W. Bush is eager not to make that same mistake. The problems of the right-wing in the Republican Party came back to haunt him later on - remember when George Bush tried to win re-election, Pat Buchanan on the Republican Right, challenged him and caused him real problems in the New Hampshire primary in 1992.
George W. Bush is determined not to make that mistake - he wants the right-wing of the Republican Party right behind him and on board straightaway. In the first couple of days of his presidency, he stopped American funding for abortion programmes abroad giving a clear signal to the Right.
Bush also appointed John Ashcroft as Attorney-General - a real standard bearer of the Republican Right. So what he has tried to do is harness the support of the Republican Right early on and perhaps he will start moving to the centre again as elections take place. Classic presidential politics - shore up your electoral base and as he comes up for re-election - move towards the middle again.
The Democrats are lacking a voice right now. Al Gore has decided that he is just going to keep a very low profile taking up some teaching jobs in Columbia University, New York. We haven't seen Al Gore comment on any aspect of the administration's policy - even the Kyoto Protocol which was one of Al Gore's signature issues - this need to safeguard the environment.
However, as the administration progresses there will be more vocal criticisms from his democratic and environmental opponents.
Bush knows that that would create an enormous political problem for him. They have made a political calculation that more people are concerned about rising energy prices than are concerned about the possible damaging effects to the environment and that seems to be governing the way that they are approaching this problem.
There is a concern within the White House about the presentation of its environmental policy - I think they were taken aback at the alarm in Europe especially over his disavowal of the Kyoto Protocol. I travelled from America the day that he announced that to Europe the following morning and the headlines were so different.
In America it wasn't really a huge story - partly because people knew that Kyoto was always going to struggle to get the Senate's approval and partly because Americans are used to driving their cars. They regard cheap gas as a right not a privilege and a lot of people in America are willing to make that bargain that if cheap fuel means damaging the environment - to a certain extent they are willing to actually allow that.
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