- The Washington Times - Monday, January 17, 2005

President Bush’s inaugural speech on Thursday will reveal a philosophical framework and guiding principles to “lead this country and this world to peace through liberty,” White House adviser Dan Bartlett said yesterday.

The speech, which will be given after the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol, will outline the direction of the Bush administration for the next four years.

Mr. Bartlett called it “a historical marker as to where our country stands today” and “a lot of opportunities on which we can seize.”

“What President Bush is going to do is to speak directly to not only the American people, but also the world about how we can lead this country and this world to peace through liberty,” Mr. Bartlett told “Fox News Sunday.”

Host Chris Wallace asked whether the speech will include memorable phrases, such as that by President Kennedy to “ask not” and President Lincoln’s call of “malice toward none.”

“I believe there are a couple of good phrases,” Mr. Bartlett said. “This is a very powerful speech. It is one that President Bush believes in deep in his bones.”

Mr. Bartlett dubbed it the “liberty speech,” saying it will address how liberty is achieved at home by promoting liberty abroad.

Mr. Bush is going to stress “that as president during a time of war, we have to hold true to our ideals and to our values,” Mr. Bartlett said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He is going to promote a doctrine and agenda and vision that speaks to bringing liberty abroad, to protect our security here at home and to give people here at home more opportunity and more control and more of a stake in our future. And that’s a critical point,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Mr. Bush will further outline his agenda during the State of the Union speech at the end of the month, including the war in Iraq and upcoming elections.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he did not expect the scheduled Jan. 30 elections in Iraq to deliver democracy.

“In another time, I think it would have been the hope that somehow you’re going to be able to transition into a democracy. I think if you had a country that had some stability and was freed from the kinds of violence and was able to deal with some of the problems, [it] might evolve into some kind of a democracy. I think that is probably the best you could hope for,” Mr. Kennedy said.

“I think it’s probably unrealistic to think that you’re going to get into a real democratic kind of a country even following these steps and even if these steps were successful,” Mr. Kennedy said.

On domestic issues, reforming government agencies that dictate tax codes, health care and the retirement system and strengthening the economy are priorities for Mr. Bush

“These are big issues. It’s going to require the president to work with members of both parties,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, told “Fox News Sunday” that the new Congress first will focus on old business, such as class-action liability reform, bankruptcy-law reform and transportation. He said he expects some continued opposition from Democrats.

“But there are a lot of Democrats who look at this last election, last several elections, and they see that this obstructionist agenda that was led by [former Senate Minority Leader] Tom Daschle has not been beneficial to them politically and it certainly hasn’t been beneficial to the country.

“And I think there will be at least a core group of Democrats who will understand that they’re here to try to get something done, and they’re going to work with those who want to work with them to accomplish good things for America,” Mr. Santorum said.

Both parties have shown support for Mr. Bush’s nomination of Margaret Spellings as education secretary.

“We’ve supported her, wanted to make sure that she’s confirmed on the Inauguration Day,” Mr. Kennedy said. “She has the president’s ear. She’s very close to the president. She doesn’t always say no to Democrats.”

Mr. Kennedy said he expects Democrats to cooperate on issues such as education and health care.

“I think we have that chance because it is a new administration. It’s a new Congress,” he said.

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