Friday, May 12, 2006

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.

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Blogger His Honor the Mayor said...

The only poll comparing the two that would really matter could only occur if we were to repeal the 22nd Amendment and the two ran against each other in 2008.

As much as I would love to see that happen (I hate term limits at any level), it won't.

If it did, I believe that President Clinton would beat the current occupant of the White House 60-40 in the popular vote, and capture at least 360 electoral votes.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Kathy said... I reading this the wrong way?

When asked which man was more honest as president, poll respondents were more evenly divided, with the numbers -- 46 percent Clinton to 41 percent Bush -- falling within the poll's margin of error.

You said poll respondents think Bush is more honest by a five point margin - but that's not the way the copy reads. Also, the poll on the CNN page askes the same question about honesty and Clinton is winning 75% to 25% over Bush.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

No, Kathy, you read it correctly. Chalk my previous misstatement up to it being "Harpoon I.P.A. Time."

And as for the CNN web poll, I place zero faith in web polls, and I would not reverse course with this one. Even money says that one of the big left-leaning bloggers linked the poll.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous AWC3 said...

I'd chalk this one up to people's inability to remember a span of time greater than 6 years.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At worst an unconfirmed liar? Bwah hah hah hah.

8:59 AM  
Blogger thepoetryman said...

The mere fact that someone or a number of someones had to conduct a poll to give an analysis of what most people with any freethinking principles could have concluded by merely being alive... Sad waste...

8:19 PM  

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