With the falling approval ratings for George Bush published almost every month seem to signify a failing presidency, the following chart of Presidential approval ratings [source: WSJ] from the early 50s makes for interesting observations:

presidential approval ratings

The first thing that you notice is that Bush’s low approval ratings aren’t the lowest that this country has seen. Truman and Nixon had much lower ratings during their term. But as Kottke notes, in spite of the vilifying, Clinton remains the only President who left with a higher approval rating than he came in with. Even Reagan, the Republican darling and the much-loved Kennedy left office [death in case of JFK] with a lower rating as compared to Clinton.

Both Bushes experienced a surge in popularity following military action only to squander it away thanks to their domestic policies. You can notice the steep slide in Bush’s ratings following the War in Afghanistan post 9/11. Trust Dubya to not only squander global goodwill but also rank abysmally low in domestic ratings and that after a deliberate campaign to market news in his favor. Guess he didn’t learn much from his father’s experience.

Hit the Next button here [or the navigation to the left] to look at each President’s term and their subsequent rise and fall in approval ratings. Incumbency can be such a bitch, eh?