25 percent. That is President Bushs current job approval rating, a striking drop from his high of 90 percent following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Now, the only approval ratings lower than his are of the Democratic Congress, (18 percent) and Michael Vick barely.
During troubled times, Americans look for someone to blame. The easiest target, whether he is actually responsible or not, is the president and the Bush administration has seen its share of troubled times.
As a Republican, I am often asked for my opinion of Bush and, like many Republicans, I havent always been terribly enthusiastic about some of the presidents policies. He has gotten a bad rap and, now that his term is coming to an end, Id like to offer some fair criticism of the last eight years.
Bush has not been the perfect president or the perfect Republican. I am truly looking forward to hearing a president properly pronounce the word nuclear. The treatment that others have afforded him, however, has been ignorant at best, sometimes disgraceful.
For example, the Iraqi front in the War on Terror was handled poorly in its first years but rather than criticizing our management, many on the left insisted that we should never have gone, even going so far as to call it a war for oil.
This would be a fair debate if the war were over, but until then it is vital that we stand together as one nation. History will judge the legitimacy of the war, and I believe that it will be much fairer than we have been. In the meantime, we must ensure victory and our security.
I am encouraged to see that Obama has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay on the job in the new administration. They will, no doubt, be at odds on occasion, but with Gates on the job, I hope that our withdrawal from Iraq will be conducted at the proper time.
In any event, I am prepared to get behind the next president for the sake of our nation and am confident that Republicans will be more decent in our criticisms of Obama than many Democrats have been of Bush these past eight years.
So, how will things be different in the next administration? In an interview with CNN, Bush said that It is good for our country that people have hope in the system and feel vested in the future and President-elect Obama has a great opportunity. He is quite right.
Whether deserved or not, Bushs low approval ratings have made it difficult for him to be an effective leader. Obama, on the other hand, will enjoy a great deal of good will and, to quote Bush once more, I really do wish him all the best it is good for the country that the president succeeds.