Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"You Can't Govern When People Don't Trust You"

Americans are not happy campers right now:

History's view of George W. Bush will be harsh, Americans predict.

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, a 54% majority says Bush will be judged as a below-average or poor president, more than double the negative rating given any of his five most recent predecessors.

IRAQ POLL: USA growing more pessimistic

Just 19% expect him to be seen as outstanding or above average, placing him last among the six. Bush, re-elected in 2004, now trails three presidents who were rejected by voters when they sought second or full terms, including his father, George H.W. Bush.

"The public sees this war in Iraq as a failure, and that's at the center of it," says Robert Dallek, a presidential biographer and author of Hail to the Chief: The Making and Unmaking of American Presidents.

Criticized for the war and the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, Bush "has lost his credibility," Dallek says, "and you can't govern when people don't trust you."

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