How Bush Got There

Months of debate--and one lucky break--led to the President's compromise. The inside story

For a while this year it seemed that George W. Bush buttonholed everybody he met to get his or her view on stem-cell research. Emissaries from Capitol Hill, delegations of scientists, pro-lifers, bioethicists, patients' advocates, the Pope--if they had a take, they had his ear. "Almost everyone in the White House, well, he asked your opinion at one point," says presidential counselor Karen Hughes. "He also questioned what led you to that decision. He wanted to know the rationale."

Of all the advice Bush got, however, none was more important than the consultation he held on Aug. 2 with doctors and...

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