On The Way Down?

Fears about the economy and the rising costs of the S&L scandal put the first dents in Bush's popularity

From George Bush's first months in office until this summer,it seemed that only divine intervention could shorten his eight-year lease on power. The Soviet bloc's dramatic implosion complemented the President's experience in foreign affairs. He managed to finesse most challenges at home. But the domestic agenda could not be deflected forever, and now he faces a series of divisive concerns, including a new civil rights bill, tax increases and growing fear of recession. The selection of David Souter, while tactically adroit, underscored Bush's need to move cautiously across a domestic playing field that suddenly looks less dismal to Democrats eyeing 1992....