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Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Wednesday, 1 February 2006

US voters' views: Jorge Caspary

MEET THE PANEL
Jorge Caspary
Name: Jorge Caspary
Age: 42
Lives: Tallahassee, Florida
Works: Civil engineer
Last election voted: Republican
In 10 words or less:
"Bolivian immigrant, geologist, father-of-three, moderate Republican"

Undoubtedly, last year was hard on President Bush.

The continuing involvement in Iraq without an exit strategy has taken an emotional toll on all Americans, whether we were for or against the war to begin with.

My home town of Tallahassee has had its own share of casualties.

Yes, the Middle East appears to slowly be moving towards Bush's vision of modern democracy but our engagement in Iraq seems to be for the long run, which will mean further bloodshed and sacrifice.

However, Mr Bush is clear that we're there to win.

Domestically, last year he touted an ambitious agenda that has turned into a public relations disaster.

The necessary reform of the pension system was a concept Americans did not embrace and the reform collapsed.

Likewise, the prescription plan has turned into a menu of choices few Americans seem to understand.

Fewer are aware that tax credits are available for the purchase of health insurance.

A reasonable approach to deal with illegal immigration has gone nowhere.

US VOTERS' VIEWS
Before engaging Congress again, Mr Bush should have questioned the capacity of his public relations team to present his plans coherently to the American public.

However, he may have done just that, as this year President Bush spoke in his State of the Union address of his vision of an America that will continue to lead the world in technology and human capital and set a small agenda for 2006.

His focus on alternate sources of energy is a necessity that no party can ignore in an America addicted to oil.

Also, a reform of immigration policy and the pension system are absolute necessities.

If the Republicans retain Congress in this year's elections and President Bush continues to learn his lesson from 2005 to be more conciliatory, he is likely to deliver on his pledges.




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