Musicguy - First of all, EVERY president spends a lot of time campaigning and fund raising for mid-term elections. It’s part of the job, and if they don’t do it they take a lot of heat. Clinton was so good at it that he was affectionately called the “Fund Raiser In Chief”. I’ve got no problems with that, as long as it doesn’t interefere with the job, and if anything, Bush has been doing less of it than most presidents. I follow the conservative press, and there has been a lot of criticism against Bush for not doing more fund-raising and party support stuff.
As for the illegal immigrants - you’re wrong about Bush wanting their support. Those people vote Democratic, and that’s one reason why the Republicans are fighting Bush over this. The religious right and the Pat Buchanan conservatives are also dead-set against it. So it’s pretty hard to make the claim that this is a politically-motivated decision.
In truth, it probably one of the least politically-motivated positions he’s taken. The Bushes like Mexico and Mexicans, and I think his position is just a desire to take a lot of hard-working, responsible people and make them part of legal society rather than making them criminals. He sees them as being a net benefit on society, and wants bring them into the fold. That’s about it.
The cloning decision is more complex. To be honest, I think Laura Bush is a big part of that one. She’s the one who comes from the conservative religious background, and she’s the one who took the wild fratboy an heavy drinker and made him fly right. I think she’s opposed to it, and he’s deferring to her judgement on this. But that’s just a guess.
The cloning issue alone would be enough to make me vote for a pro-research democrat if I were American. It’s a hugely important issue, and Bush is on the wrong side of it, in a big way.
I’m also furious at him for stacking his Bioethics council. It’s headed by Leon Kass, who is as close to a luddite as you’re going to find in a major public figure, and it’s loaded with like-minded individuals. You’ll NEVER see a decision from that group that is at all progressive when it comes to some of the most important scientific questions facing us today. Bush’s attitude in this area is a huge disappointment.