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The White House to Consider Congressional Sentiment? Is Someone Sick? « The Washington Independent

It needs no mention that the current White House has been among the most unilateral-minded administration’s in the country’s history. Indeed, President George W. Bush has bucked Congress on a long list of high-profile legislative proposals — everything from the farm bill to SCHIP — while also asserting his right to ignore certain laws already passed.

It was strange, then, to hear White House spokeswoman Dana Perino today deflect questions about the automaker bailout, claiming that “it’s really important to see what kind of support this can get on Capitol Hill.” From the official transcript of the press conference:

REPORTER: You don’t usually talk about which way the wind is blowing on Capitol Hill. What leads you to say — make a comment that support for this is a mystery?

PERINO: Well, I just, I think that it is. Could anybody here tell me how Capitol Hill is actually going to react to the plans that they put forward? I don’t think anybody knows.

REPORTER: Well, you usually don’t talk about the mood up there.

PERINO: Really?

REPORTER: What are you telling — what is the administration telling its — telling Republicans about this whole idea of the $34 billion?

PERINO: Well, as I said, we need a chance to look through the plans, Peter, so I don’t think that we can — I can answer that for you right now.

Further sign, if any were needed, that the White House seems to recognize its own irrelevance.

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