Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Should the President hang around the ranch and goof off?

Well, this is, indeed, and interesting question. Should the President hang around the ranch and goof off? Well, other presidents have played a lot of golf; I'm not sure if clearing underbrush on the ranch is quite the same. I remember reading an analysis somewhere that the more time a president spent playing golf, the better off the country was.

According to the good people over at Dictionary.com, a mandate is
  • An authoritative command or instruction.

  • A command or an authorization given by a political electorate to its representative.
Is a three percent win authoritative? I'm thinking if we were in double digits, well, that would be authoritative.

Yesterday, as I was catching a cab here in the Atlanta, the taxi driver and I started talking politics. I'm not sure where he was from -- spoke with an accent I narrowed down to a single continent -- but he certainly is an American now. When he learned I worked for the Coast Guard, he started asking me about the last election and whether or not the claims about the Coast Guard's inability to board all incoming merchant vessels was real or not. And a couple of minutes later he was able to run through Senator Kerry's complete work history. Anyway, we talked about leadership and the direction of the country. We agreed on this: that President Bush has a clear vision of what he wants and is able to get key folks onboard to make it happen. Where we disagreed was the quality of that vision; frankly, I don't agree with the President's vision, particularly with regard to Iraq and his treatment of key domestic issues. Oh, and we agreed Senator Kerry didn't have much of a vision. You can't create vision off a negative.

The President starts his second term with a 52% approval rating. And, no, that's not The Washington Post poll, that's Gallup's poll. The Pew Research Center notes
George W. Bush begins his second term with considerably less popular support than other recent incumbent presidents after their reelection. He also is proposing a second-term policy agenda that differs in several key respects from the public's. Health care, aid for the poor, and the growing budget deficit are all increasingly important public priorities, while limiting lawsuit awards, making recent tax cuts permanent and tax simplification rank near the bottom of the public's agenda.
At the start of their second terms, even Nixon and Clinton had 59% approval ratings. Check out the graph of second term approval ratings posted here.

Hmmmmm. I wonder what that means.

No comments:

Post a Comment