FEATURE: Dowd’s split with Bush

Bush strategist looks back in sadness

Matthew Dowd knows sorrow and loss. He has been divorced twice. A daughter died two months after she was born. And then there is the added heartbreak — a word he uses — of his split with President Bush.

Dowd, 46, is one of the nation’s leading political strategists, a onetime Democrat who switched sides to help put Bush in the White House, then win a second term. He spent years shaping and promoting Bush’s policies — policies that Dowd now views with a mixture of anguish and contempt.

He began expressing his disillusionment, tentatively at first, at a UC Berkeley conference in January. Since then, he has grown more forceful.

On the administration’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks: “I asked, ‘Why aren’t we doing bonds, war bonds? Why aren’t we asking the country to do something instead of just . . . go shopping and get back on airplanes?’ ” [complete article]

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