Saturday, December 1, 2007

Why Is Bush So Popular?

Sorry about that. I seem to have lured you in with a sensationalist headline. Shame on me. I'm actually talking about the previous Bush!

Time Magazine: February 26, 1990
Why Is He So Popular?
In the Bush White House, as in high school, there is no such thing as being too popular. Since last fall, Bush's approval ratings have soared to levels unmatched since John Kennedy's first year, and they show no sign of abating. In the TIME/CNN poll, 76% approved of the way Bush is handling his job as President, up from 70% two weeks before. While White House aides publicly feign nonchalance about these numbers, privately they are delighted if a bit puzzled. Explained one: "We're really glad it's there; we're glad people like him. But nobody can explain it."

Much of the credit goes to the three Ps: Peace, Prosperity and Panama. Voters appreciate Bush's affable nature, his no-nonsense wife Barbara and his flock of grandchildren.
Add to that low unemployment and inflation...

Unemployment and inflation sure were low in February, 1990. We were ramping up for a serious consumer recession though, not that many seemed to notice. Let's skip forward a few months.

Time Magazine: December 3, 1990
Is The Country in a Depression?
As unemployment climbs, inflation rises and the economy lurches toward an expected slump, economists issue dire warnings about "recessionary psychology" -- a pattern of cuts in consumer spending and investment that tends to feed the downward spiral and make any economic falloff even deeper. But there is another, more profound kind of recessionary psychology. It is measured by psychic indicators rather than economic ones. As people change their behavior in the face of layoffs, cutbacks or a sudden drop in net worth, more and more Americans find themselves clinically depressed.

I wonder would happen if we start with a very unpopular president, a biblical level credit crisis, and ~$90 oil (that we're told is only falling due to "expected" economic weakness). Maybe we'll find out.

November 8, 2007
Bush, Congress Popularity Remain Low
His 32 percent approval for handling the economy was his lowest rating ever for that category in the AP poll.

November 30, 2007
Ax falls on execs as credit crisis grows
"The captains are going down with the ship, whether they are rising stars or not doesn't matter," said David Easthope, a senior analyst at business consulting group Celent. "The losses are so large and embarrassing to the organization that they are getting rid of people to satisfy the public perception that they are fixing things."

November 30, 2007
Crude Oil Falls Below $90 on Concern Economic Growth Will Slow
``The market is simply becoming more concerned about a possible recession that could reduce petroleum demand,'' said James Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Illinois. ``We have been seeing evidence for some time of a weakening economy and weakening oil demand.''

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