Bush Guru Says President's Bond with U.S. 'May Be Lost'

ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: In the forthcoming issue of Texas Monthly, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd writes that President Bush's "gut-level bond" with the American people "may be lost" and that "wholesale change" is needed in Iraq.

"Sending in a small contingent of troops is likely going to be seen as not helpful," Dowd writes. "He'd be much better off with the public if he said, 'This is a mess, we made mistakes, and the only way to fix it is a wholesale change.' And that could mean either a serious increase in troop strength or withdrawal."

Dowd opines that Bush's problems stem from his success in the 2002 midterm elections. ". . . when all the levers of power in Washington became Republican, creating consensus seemed to become unnecessary at the White House."

Of course, others have made these same observations before. But Dowd's comments are sure to get lots of attention in Washington because of the very senior role that he played for Bush's presidential campaigns.

He was Bush's "senior strategist" in 2000 and his "chief strategist" in 2004.

Dowd is one of 15 prominent people who offered thoughts on Bush's legacy to Texas Monthly in individual essays.

The others are: Douglas Brinkley, Robert Caro, Bobby Inman, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Robert Dallek, Michael Lind, Paul Begala, Niall Ferguson, Espeth Rostow, H.W. Brands, Donald L. Evans, Marvin Olasky, and Bruce Bartlett.

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