On “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Sen. John Kerry says, “Mr. Bush claims to be a uniter and not a divider. It’s time for Mr. Bush to stop lying, and come clean with the American people.”
“60 Minutes” broadcasts previously unreleased tapes of Richard Nixon’s cabinet meetings and reminds viewers that Nixon was subsequently forced to resign.
President Bush invites Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi to the White House to negotiate a compromise. The agreement they reach stipulates that the president will resubmit the nominations of all his cabinet secretaries for consideration by the new Democrat-controlled Senate, and that any future nominees must be selected from a list of pre-approved candidates. It also requires cabinet meetings to be held in the presence of a nonpartisan, blue-ribbon panel of journalists to ensure transparency, and forbids anybody from speaking without first being recognized by the panel chair, Helen Thomas.
In exchange for these concessions, the Democrats agree not to subpoena any cabinet secretaries, or to begin impeachment proceedings, unless they feel they are compelled to do so by “extreme circumstances.”
With Reid and Pelosi by his side in the Rose Garden, President Bush hails the agreement as a triumph of bipartisanship, and thanks the Democrats for helping to bring a “new tone” to Washington.
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The New York Times reports that President Bush regularly holds clandestine gatherings among his hand-selected cronies, who devise federal policy in secret, as a sort of “shadow government.”
The White House issues a press release explaining that those gatherings are merely cabinet meetings, that every administration has them, and that the cabinet secretaries have all had their nominations confirmed by the Senate.