The media’s overall assessment of President Bush in mid-December 2000 was pretty low. Newsweek called him ‘all name and no mandate’, and ‘a prisoner of his party and not the master of it’. Twenty-nine per cent of those polled by Newsweek regarded Bush as ‘illegitimate’.1 As the British magazine, The Economist, put it, Bush, ‘the accidental president’, was elected by the ‘skin of his chad’.2 Many assumed that Bush would ‘bungle’ his transition, but as had happened many times in his political life, the ‘commentariat’ in the media and academia underestimated him.3 He benefited again from low expectations – this time from the still pervasive notion that somehow this President was not really in charge, and that he would not be ‘adept at inside Washington politics’.4