If Polls are right, the American people who heard President Bush deliver his last State of the Union address last night are growing ever more weary of his presidency, more worried about the faltering economy, and more convinced that the war in Iraq was a mistake. Presidential candidates from his own party barely mention his name, so strong is the bipartisan consensus for change.

In an effort to keep a recession from casting one more shadow over his time in office, Bush pushed last night for quick approval of a plan by his administration and the House of Representatives for a $150 billion stimulus package. By no means, however, should Congress go along with Bush’s request, repeated last night, that it make permanent all his first-term tax cuts.

Bush was right when he reminded Congress of “a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally.” And he could make good use of his last year in office if his 11th-hour push for an Israel-Palestinian settlement bears fruit, or if he can persuade Iraqis to use the reduced violence to reach a political resolution of their conflicts. But his record in the Middle East has been marked by so many blunders that it seems more likely that both conflicts will be part of the messy, unfinished business handed over to Bush’s successor. — The Boston Globe