Friday, February 16, 2007

Uh, Broder?

Lead q+a from today's chat:

Charlotte, N.C.: Do you think Bush ever can recover his public standing? Iraq's not going away, and the only presidents who were ever this unpopular this late in their terms -- and for so long -- were Truman during Korea and Carter during 1979-80. Not good models for winning the people over. And remember that the people stood by Bill Clinton during Lewinsky, even if Washington didn't.

David S. Broder: Hello to everyone. Yes, I thiink it is possible for President Bush to recover some of his political standing. In a column today, I argue that he is poised to do so. If you want to talk historical precdents, remember to include President Eisenhower who was ruined in the sixth year by ZIran-contra and recovered fully by the end of his term. The real challenge to Bush is Iraq, and I see little ground for optimism there.


And, ok, we'll forgive the "typo" and understand that he meant Reagan, but even this isn't exactly true. Yes Reagan "recovered fully by the end of his term," but his poll numbers didn't really go back up until after the 1988 election. There was nostalgia for the Gipper once he was poised to leave office, but not until then.

It's also important to point out that even at his lowest, Reagan was much more popular than Bush is now. In his "ruined" period his poll numbers were in the high 40s consistently. He wasn't the super popular president that the media often portrays him as, but he was super popular relative to Bush.

(ht reader d)