For months now the fashionable cry has been that this was an issueless campaign, and as a result there would be no mandate. Hogwash.

By its nature a presidential mandate is drawn in broad outline. It doesn't extend to particular details or even, in most cases, to specific items of legislation. But it does embody a sort of concurrent majority of the popular will, as expressed in the hard political currency of actual votes.

The emerging Bush mandate is becoming clear, powerful and, in its key respects, unambiguous.

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