Asked to compare Barack Obama with George W. Bush, Americans are more inclined to say Obama has been a better (43%) rather than a worse (34%) president, with 22% seeing no difference between the two. Obama compares much less favorably to Bill Clinton, with half saying Obama has been worse than Clinton and 12% saying better.
These results are based on a Sept. 15-18 USA Today/Gallup poll. Obama succeeded Bush as president during a down economy that is still struggling to recover. Thus, a key comparison voters will make is whether Obama is doing better than his predecessor, which would enhance his chances of re-election, or worse than Bush, which makes it less likely Americans would reward him with a second term.
Indeed, those who say Obama has been about the same as Bush generally view Obama negatively, with 27% approving and 62% disapproving of the way Obama is handling his job as president.
Thus, in order to win re-election, Obama likely needs to convince voters he is doing a better job than his predecessor did.
After the debate last night in Florida, unless another candidate enters the field, it looks like Mitt Romney will be the candidate that will limit President Obama to one term and one term only. With economic conditions the way they are nobody will buy the argument that Obama has been doing a better job than Bush.
Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels revealed Tuesday he has consulted with his former boss, former President George W. Bush, about a potential run for the White House in 2012.
Although he wouldn’t divulge details of the discussion, Daniels, who served as Bush’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, said he is aware he owes people an answer about a bid. Daniels has said he would make up his mind at the conclusion of the legislative session in Indiana, which ended Friday.
When asked if he would like to run, Daniels responded “Would I like to? No. What sane person would like to?”
“Believe it or not, I’m not one of those people who’s ever sat around scheming and dreaming,” Daniels said on “Fox and Friends.” “Never entered my mind, but I’ve agreed at the behest of a lot of people to give it some thought.”
The thought is that Mitch Daniels will very likely run – especially since he has been discussing the race with Bush donors for some months now.
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President Barack Obama has irked close allies in Congress by declaring he has the right to ignore legislation on constitutional grounds after having criticized George W. Bush for doing the same.
Four senior House Democrats on Tuesday said they were “surprised” and “chagrined” by Obama’s declaration in June that he doesn’t have to comply with provisions in a war spending bill that puts conditions on aid provided to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
In a signing statement accompanying the $106 billion bill, Obama said he wouldn’t allow the legislation to interfere with his authority as president to conduct foreign policy and negotiate with other governments. Earlier in his 6-month-old administration, Obama issued a signing statement regarding provisions in a $410 billion omnibus spending bill.
“During the previous administration, all of us were critical of (Bush’s) assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of congressional statutes he was required to enforce,” the Democrats wrote in their letter to Obama. “We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude.”
The letter was signed by Reps. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, as well as Reps. Nita Lowey and Gregory Meeks, both of New York, who chair subcommittees on those panels.
Obey and Frank in particular are needed by Obama to push through Congress key pieces of his agenda, including health care and financial oversight reform.
The White House said Tuesday the administration plans to implement the provisions of the bill and suggested that Obama’s signing statement was aimed more at defending the president’s executive powers than skirting the law.
“The president has also already made it clear that he will not ignore statutory obligations on the basis of policy disagreements and will reserve signing statements for legislation that raises clearly identified constitutional concerns,” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
Bush issued a record number of signing statements while in office as he sparred with Democrats on such big issues as the war in Iraq.
Democrats, including Obama, sharply criticized Bush as overstepping his bounds as president. In March, Obama ordered a review of Bush’s guidelines for implementing legislation.
“There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused,” Obama wrote in a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies.
At the same time, however, Obama did not rule out issuing any signing statements, which have been used for centuries. Rather, he ordered his administration to work with Congress to inform lawmakers about concerns over legality before legislation ever reaches his desk. He also pledged to use caution and restraint when writing his own signing statements, and said he would rely on Justice Department guidance when doing so.
Another Obama statement with an expiration date. But, this like the others will come back to haunt him in the coming months. It is one thing to criticize another POL for policy decisions but to turn right around and do the same thing?
Look at Obama’s health care reform and the taxing of health benefits where he criticzed and ran ads attacking John McCain.