The Politics of the Bomb
North Korea's nuclear test shifts the debate back to national security, still perceived as Bush's strength. But having the world afire on your watch has its drawbacks.
The first of a slew of e-mailed Capitol Hill statements about North Korea's reported nuclear test came at 8:05 a.m. from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who decried "the desperate act of a criminal regime" and added: "We stand with President Bush and the international community in condemning North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il's reckless decision." Of course, President George W. Bush has been standing by the Speaker lately, and no one could be more relieved than Hastert and his staff to see the news spotlight shifting to somewhere else on the globe.