"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Furthermore, only 41 percent give Bush good marks for being “honest and straightforward” — his lowest ranking on this question since he became president. That’s a drop of nine percentage points since January, when a majority (50 percent to 36 percent) indicated that he was honest and straightforward. This finding comes at a time when the Bush administration is battling the perception that its rhetoric doesn’t match the realities in Iraq, and also allegations that chief political adviser Karl Rove leaked sensitive information about a CIA agent to a reporter. (The survey, however, was taken just before these allegations about Rove exploded into the current controversy.)
The Empty Flight Suit may yet rebound from his current "credibility malfunction" - history shows that he's positively Nixonian in his ability to come back from the dead - but there is a lesson worth learning here: The problem with cultivating a cult of personality is that the success or failure of the entire enterprise relies on the steadiness of a notoriously fickle public. When only four-in-ten Americans remain convinced that the President is "straightforward and honest," it is problematic under the best of circumstances. It is utterly devastating, however, when that President has built his whole political persona on being a regular, straight-talking guy. Clinton got to fall back on his technical competence and his powerful intellect. What will Chimpy fall back on?