I am amused by the despondent MSM (main stream media) since the 2004 election. Immediately after the election was conceded the MSM began to chant that the close election would force Bush to govern from the center (apparently more that he already is!?). They are fools. The sting of the defeat pushed them further into denial. You could almost read their deluded thoughts: "it won't be that bad, he'll have to govern more like a Democrat, won't he?, won't he??!"
Wham! Immediately after the concession W and Rove delivered a bracing slap: W "has a mandate." W and Rove are correct. I can not recall any other presidential candidate who so clearly laid out for the public what he intended to do without apology or reservation. And, he was elected. That is a mandate.
In contrast, John Kerry could have garnered 60% of the vote and he still would not have had a mandate. He had never clearly said what he would do so the public could not give him permission to do "it."
Despite the slap, the media still does not get it. Now they are trying to convince themselves that W is making a big mistake in trying to appoint people to his cabinet who will do what he tells them to do. Their theory: W will harm his presidency surrounding himself with yes men and women (since when have they been concerned about his presidency being unsuccessful?). Aside from the fact that there is no evidence that any of these people are yes-men who would hide the information produced by their agencies or shirk from expressing their opinions, the MSM's theory misses the point. A majority of Americans elected George Bush to do what he said he would do. They want him to have cabinet members who carry out his orders.
There is another asinine undercurrent to the MSM's theory: they want us to believe that it is good to have cabinet members who are not loyal. I agree with the position that it is important to have cabinet members who provide their well founded information and opinions. However, once the president makes his decision on policy the cabinet member must follow it, regardless of whether it is in concert with the cabinet member's opinion. A partially-executed policy can be very dangerous.
Colin Powell forcefully gave his opinions to the President during his first term. I think that in many cases when the President made a policy decision inconsistent with Powell's opinion, Powell and the State Department only partially implemented the policy. Bush had to put up with this necessary evil during his first term because he needed Powell's (undeserved) foreign policy gravitas to get elected the first time and Powell knew it. With his reelection, Bush does not need Powell any longer. Bush has wisely chosen to turn to a loyal confidante with Mrs. Rice.