President Bush promised less partisanship in the political wars but no backing off the war on terror or in Iraq, in his State of the Union address Tuesday.
Optimism was the tone on the hill Tuesday night, in a prime time effort to counter what the polls reveals is continued public pessimism about his presidency.
President Bush came to Congress with his public approval at only 39 percent but proof that he can still push his conservative agenda was in the house, literally.
Samuel Alito, nominated by Bush to the Supreme Court, confirmed Tuesday, was decked out in his robe. That had been a partisan fight. The President called for cooperation on social security and health care as well.
"We need to put aside partisan politics, work together, and get this problem solved," President Bush said.
In the First Lady's box was Rex, a bomb sniffing Iraq war veteran, with Air Force Tech Sergeant Jamie Dana, badly wounded in the war that the Commander in Chief vowed not to pull out of too soon.
"I am confident in our plan for victory ... fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning," Bush said.
Hs message: reject isolationism.
"The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil."
Mr. Bush said a key to the fight against Islamic radicals is what his critics call domestic spying.
"If there are people inside our country who are talking with Al?Qaida, we want to know about it ? because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again," Bush said.
New Orleans and the gulf will get $85B but got scant mention tonight.
Virginia's Governor Tim Kaine had the Democrat's response.
"The federal government should serve the American people, but that mission is frustrated by this administration's poor choices and bad management. Families in the gulf coast see that as they wait to rebuild their lives."
However, the Bush message is optimism. despite disagreement over the state of the union.