Reform's Hard Road

The White House finds the going tough with G.O.P. legislators on Social Security

IT HAS BEEN LESS THAN A month since George W. Bush began getting specific about his plans to reform Social Security, but bookmakers in Washington are lengthening the odds of its passage. Republicans have returned from a weeklong recess telling stories of meetings on the issue with voters who ranged from suspicious to downright hostile. At a town-hall gathering at the Madison #1 Middle School in Phoenix, Ariz., G.O.P. lawmaker John Shadegg faced a crowd of 280 people, 30% of whom by his estimate were there to voice angry opposition to tinkering with Social Security. "They rushed to the microphones," says...

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