How anybody ever thought this president was bright, charming, and honest is beyond me. He always looked to me like someone who was in way over his head, and he has serious character and leadership negatives:
- Unwilling to hear (and deal with) bad news. Surrounds himself with yes-men.
- Unable to explain his own policies without a written speech in front of him (indicates poor understanding).
- Stubborn. Inflexible. Unwilling to reverse or even rethink poor policy decisions.
- Liar. While his administration was wiretapping without warrants, he explicitly stated that when surveillance was done, it was always done with a warrant. His administration also lied to Congress about the cost of Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit.
- Politicizes national security. His administration leaked the name of a CIA agent, apparently as part of a campaign to discredit her husband. He used 9/11 (his greatest failure) as a political bludgeon against the Democrats.
- Uncurious. He famously doesn't read newspapers, but rather receives the news from his advisors. This makes him easier to manipulate by his staff.
- Poor hiring manager. He places people into positions based on their allegiance to him and his goals, rather than choosing the most talented person for each post. Certainly loyalty should be a factor in hiring decisions, but competence should be a greater factor.
Eventually, poor management ability leads to poor management decisions, which leads to visibly poor results, so finally the American people are souring on the president.
Bush's approval rating dipped as low as 33 percent in one recent poll after a string of bad news for the White House, including uproars over a now-dead Arab port deal, a secret eavesdropping program, a series of ethics scandals involving high-profile Republicans and a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.
The political storm has left Bush's second-term legislative agenda in tatters, threatened Republican control of the U.S. Congress in November's elections and shredded his personal image as an effective leader.
"His strong points as a president were being seen as personally credible, as a strong leader. That has all but disappeared," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, whose latest independent poll found a dramatic decline in Bush's credibility.
A majority of Americans, 56 percent, believe Bush is "out of touch," the poll found. When asked for a one-word description of Bush, the most frequent response was "incompetent," followed by "good," "idiot" and "liar." In February 2005, the most frequent reply was "honest."