Andrew Sullivan brings up my main problem with Bush by looking at an article about the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute. Essentially the problem lies with the idea that Bush is not conservative, particularly with respect to Bush's fiscal policies. I ended voting for Harry Brown in 2000 precisely because the hairs on the back of my neck stood up whenever the words "compassionate conservative" were voiced. From what I have seen, Compassionate Conservatism involves mandating that everyone shall be compassionate through government taxation.
It is entirely too late for Bush to try to change his record over the past four years. That is the burden of incumbency. Kerry on the other hand can try to reshape his position. Downside, he's gone to that well so often that it is probably dry by now. The Democratic base has been as disheartened by Kerry's cut to the center on the War in Iraq (He would have used force, even knowing what we know now) as the small government portion of the Republican base by Bush's spending. I know, Congress decides what gets spent where, but 1) Congress has been Republican for a while now, and if the team is not performing, its the manager who gets canned, and 2) the pen used to veto a bill can't be that much heavier than the signature pen.