President George W. Bush as he boards Marine One at the White House on Friday.
Despite his 11th-hour bid to tilt the public approval meter slightly in his direction and put a good word in about his own legacy (see farewell address), outgoing President Bush has been slapped back by an apparently unimpressed public, as demonstrated by a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.
The New York Times:
When asked about Mr. Bush’s performance over the last eight years, 22 percent of respondents said they approved. That matched Mr. Bush’s job-approval rating for much of last fall, the lowest of his presidency. In the current poll, 73 percent disapproved of his performance over the course of his two terms.
Disapproval cut across party lines, with Democrats, independents and even 34 percent of Republicans critical of Mr. Bush’s performance.
In contrast, Mr. Bush’s most recent predecessors left office with approval ratings ranging from 68 percent, for both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, to 44 percent, for Jimmy Carter. Mr. Bush’s father left with 54 percent.