What do you think of the Tea Party movement?
Raymond La, STUART, FLA.
The Tea Party movement is interesting because it is grassroots and highly decentralized. They're people who have heretofore been spectators, not participants. You've got the libertarian Ron Paul--ites trying to grab control. And you've got the ne'er-do-wells who couldn't get elected in Precinct 354 [saying], By God, this is my chance to be somebody. But the vast majority of these people have not been involved in American politics, and that's a healthy thing.
How do you deal with those who blame you and President Bush for all the world's evils?
Aaron Tilley, HAMILTON, BERMUDA
I try to make them be specific. People can hyperventilate all they want, but I want them to be specific in their charge. So I ask, What is it that you think we did wrong? And then confront those specifics.
What has been the biggest obstacle you've overcome in life?
Garry Owen, BETHLEHEM, PA.
The biggest one is that I never got a college degree. But people have taken an unusual lesson from [my book], which is that I had a difficult childhood. I don't remember it that way. I grew up on the shabby side of the middle class, but I had a great childhood.
What would your prescription be for healing the current partisan climate?
Javier Avalos, ST. CLOUD, MINN.
There's always going to be a high degree of partisanship. I fought President Obama for having inspired the country to believe that it was "not red state--blue state but the United States," and then once in office giving a little bit of attention to the form of bipartisanship but not the substance.
Is being the "party of no" working for the Republicans?
David Hannon, COCKEYSVILLE, MD.
I don't see it as a position of no. It's been largely no because of the opposition to health care. Republicans are going to get great gains in the 2010 elections. The gains will be bigger if Republicans are not content simply to surf the wave of discontent with what Democrats are doing but instead offer an optimistic and positive agenda.
How do you want to be remembered? How is the President?
Kevin Gazibo, CORNWALL, ONT.
I don't care about the first one, and on the second, he's doing great. The family from which he comes has this enormous normality about them. He's happy to be back in Texas.
What do you think historians will say was President Bush's greatest achievement? His greatest mistake?
Jerry May, SALT LAKE CITY
I think they will say his greatest achievement was to put America on the right footing to win and prevail in the global war on terror. I think they will say his greatest failing was--he won re-election, and you'd think he would be able to, at that point, [take] all the debris of the 2000 election, put [that] behind him and bring the country together to achieve reforms on Social Security and immigration. We came close on immigration.
How many congressional seats will be gained in November?
Chet Tims, HOUSTON