Bush Aides Tout Bipartisan Agreement On Immigration

Relieved White House officials say President Bush has finally broken the cycle of bad news and political setbacks he has endured for months. The bipartisan agreement on immigration, backed by Bush and now being considered by the Senate, did the trick, they say.

And even though that deal is fragile and under fierce attack from the left and the right, the fact that key Senate leaders of both parties approved it, including Democrat Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Republican John Kyl of Arizona, is seen as a good sign for Bush as he pushes forward with his end-of-term agenda.

"Immigration cleared the air," said a White House official. Bush advisers also point out that the Democratic-controlled Congress is just as unpopular as Bush is. (In a recent poll, both had a 35 percent job performance rating.) Said the senior White House aide: "People are tired of jarring partisanship."

By Kenneth T. Walsh