[George P. Bush]'s efforts have invited comparisons between his "compassionate conservatism" and President Clinton's efforts to push the Democratic Party to the center. But none of Bush's departures from the traditional GOP party line are as dramatic as when Clinton infuriated liberals by endorsing welfare reform, analysts say.
Sharing Bush's moderate, conciliatory political style is his choice for a running mate, Dick Cheney. But Cheney as a House member from 1979 to '89 was so conservative--even more so than Bush on issues such as abortion--it may undercut the Texas governor's claim to be a different kind of Republican.
Bush's ambitious Social Security proposal--which would allow younger workers to divert part of their payroll taxes into accounts they could invest in the stock market--is in line with congressional proposals that have enjoyed significant GOP support. But those bills have languished in Congress because of anxiety about raising the issue in an election year. So what was groundbreaking was not the substance of Bush's Social Security blueprint, but the fact he was willing to take the political risk of advancing it.