WASHINGTON _ In his first post-election trip to the nation's capital, an exuberant President-elect George W. Bush pledged Monday to work with Congress to "heal what wounds may exist" from a hard and close campaign while still insisting on a $1.3 trillion tax cut that Democrats find unacceptable.
Bush exhibited a two-sided political persona in his high-profile visit the power corridors, painting himself as a peacemaker in the capital's partisan wars and as a general ready to twist arms for his tax cut, education program and even his controversial proposal to partially privatize Social Security.
"The reason I campaigned for a tax-relief package is because I believe it," he told reporters after meeting separately with Republican and Democratic leaders from the Senate and the House. "I think the case is even more solid today than it was a year ago when I started campaigning on the issue."
The president-elect's strong defense of tax cuts could amount to nothing more than the opening round of hard bargaining designed to yield an acceptable compromise. Some Republicans, sensing that they do not have the votes …