As I listen to the pundits claim Bush is finished, done for, dead as a door knob, etc based on his poll numbers I wonder how did presidents govern before polls?
What were the poll results after the Jay Treaty?
What were the numbers like during the war with Mexico?
Did Lincoln suffer a slump after Antietam?
In fact the tradition of governing by polls is a relatively recent one. Imagine a world in which a president governed based solely on the advice of his cabinet and trusted allies. Imagine an America without Gallup.
It is almost as difficult as imagining an America without mass media.
How did they run for office before televised debates?
I think Bush is a president who is aware of polls but does not govern entirely based on polls. Clinton was the latter kind of president. He went with the flow, he did not make it.
So he wrote the Iraqi Liberation Act but did not liberate Iraq.
He said Osama Bin Laden was a threat, but he felt it would be a political miscalculation to kill the bastard when he had the chance.
Which is the most effective leader? The one who governs without trying to please, or the one who lives for little else?
And is Bush really done for? I think not, but then what the hell do I know?