In which Bush stays the course
This about sums it up, I would say. From the 11/9 White House press briefing:
Q: I’m just wondering what’s the President’s mood in the last 36 hours? He’s been given this — what many people are interpreting as a rebuke. How is he handling this? What are you seeing?
MR. SNOW: Look, he’s handling it the way he handles all these things. [...] the statement he’s made many times is, “What it is is what it is.” And what you have to do is now figure out how you’re going to proceed.
Q: But what it is is a rebuke.
MR. SNOW: No. What it is is it’s an election return, Jim. [...]
Q: Tony, isn’t the message — is the message the people have spoken? This was largely a referendum on his policy in Iraq. We don’t like the policy in Iraq comes the message back from the voters. So he’s having to absorb this rejection.
MR. SNOW: Well, no. The President doesn’t absorb a rejection.