June 27, 2004

Attempt to Bestow Bush with Reagan's Mantle Fails

Oh, too bad. Reports of Bush getting a lift from being the heir of Ronald Reagan are being laid to rest. Turns out that Bush has become too isolated from the American people, something Reagan fans believe he would never have done. But the Bushies have built a huge bubble around the boy king and he hardly ever has to see a real person any more.

To his credit, says David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, Bush did show some of Reagan's traits after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, bonding with the American people as Reagan did.

"To some degree that has dissipated," said Keene, who argued that Bush "has become isolated and separated from the people, something Reagan did not allow."

The gulf between public perceptions of Bush and Reagan is substantial. By a 6-to-1 ratio, those surveyed in a recent Associated Press polls aid they thought Reagan would be remembered as a better president than Bush.

The poll was conducted in mid-June, a week after Reagan's state funeral and a flurry of tributes to the former president. It also came shortly after Bush attended D-Day ceremonies in France with allied leaders and the Group of Eight summit in Georgia with various heads of state.

"Reagan was the more effective leader by far," said Republican Bob Crider, a 46-year-old businessman from Camarillo, Calif. "I don't think Bush is inspiring. When half the country turns against you, it's hard to get anything done."

About half of the public said they view Bush in a favorable light and approve of the job he's doing. More than eight in 10 viewed Reagan favorably, according to the AP poll conducted last week by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

"Reagan was a lot better at making the hard decisions," said John Barnes, a Republican from Booneville, Ark., who is retired from the military. "Bush is still young, in a few more years he might be just as good. You've got to give him some time."

Sorry, Mr Barnes, you might be inclined to give him some time. The rest of us just want him out.

Posted by Mary at June 27, 2004 04:10 AM | Elections | Technorati links |