American Malaise

President George W. Bush, Congress
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

President Bush's poll numbers are downright Nixonian; mired in the low 30s, just where Richard Nixon was during the depths of Watergate. Even more dismal is this: 50 percent of Americans strongly disapprove of the job the president's doing.

Misery loves company though, and the president can take a tiny little bit of pride in the fact that others in Washington are even more loathed than he is.

The approval level for Congress is now 28 percent. If you were to really dissect the data, that number is so low we'd learn that even members of their families don't think Congress is doing a good job.

All this dissatisfaction has created a wide open field for next years election; certainly a wide range of candidates to choose from. And while there are front runners from both parties, analysis of their numbers show support to be a tad soft.

Malaise is the word doctors use to describe the way you feel before you really get sick. I'm thinking Americans are sick and tired of the status quo.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.