Clinton vs. Bush
If the Middle America Progressive says word one about this poll, he cedes any moral authority he might ever have had calling out conservative who still note the shortcomings of the Clinton presidency.
I wonder if he's willing to abdicate a frequent bargaining chip.
Also, the poll respondents think Bush Clinton is more honest by a five point margin. Apparently, authentic corroboration on tape is only slightly more damning than no authenticated corroboration at all.* Who knew that Americans would trust a confirmed liar over, at worst, an unconfirmed one?
(And just to foreclose the inevitable attempts to distinguish the two: the poll only asked which man the respondent trusted more. It made no attempt to draw out the sources of these decisions or any distance between them on individual trust spectrums.)
I do wonder about the usefulness of this poll. Year five of the Clinton presidency was 1998. The independent counsel investigation was only at its midpoint and he had not yet been impeached. While Clinton's approval rating never dipped below the mid-fifties in the second term, two points are overlooked: he was a peacetime president (or at the least he was not running an unpopular war -- the occasional airstrike doesn't count) and his approval ratings had also previously been in the mid-thirties. Also, Clinton peaked in the mid-seventies. I'm not suggesting that I think it is likely that Bush, too, will enjoy a 20-point bump before the end of his presidency, but I'm also not placing it entirely outside of the realm of possibility.
In other words, the poll is interesting, I suppose, as far as it goes. But call me again in another 8 years. At least then we'll know how the Bush presidency ended and we'll have a little perspective.
*Thanks to Kathy for noting my typo, though it only serves to underscore my conclusion, not undermine it.