The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, June 28, 2004  

Bush Drops and Buckley Exits

A couple of things before signing off for the day:

Bush Sags in Poll
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll offers mixed news for both Sen. John F. Kerry and President Tinker Toys, the Times reports (“Bush’s Rating Falls to Its Lowest Point, New Survey Finds,” by Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder):

President Bush’s job approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll found Americans stiffening their opposition to the Iraq war, worried that the invasion could invite domestic terrorist attacks and skeptical about whether the White House has been fully truthful about the war or about abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison. […]

The survey, which showed Mr. Bush’s approval rating at 42 percent, also found that nearly 40 percent of Americans say they do not have an opinion about Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, despite what have been both parties’ earliest and most expensive television advertising campaigns.

Among those who do have an opinion, Mr. Kerry is disliked more than he is liked. More than 50 percent of respondents said that Mr. Kerry says what he thinks voters want to hear, suggesting that Mr. Bush has had success in portraying his opponent as a flip-flopper. […]

45 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Bush himself, again the most negative measure the Times/CBS Poll has found since he took office. And 57 percent say the country is going in the wrong direction, another measure used by pollsters as a barometer of discontent with an incumbent.

Buckley Divests NR Stake
William F. Buckley is stepping back if not down from National Review, the right-wing magazine he founded 40 years ago. According to the New York Times (“National Review Founder Says It’s Time to Leave Stage,” by David D. Kirkpatrick), “In explaining his decision, Mr. Buckley said he had taken some satisfaction in the triumph of conservatism since then, though he expressed some complaints about President Bush’s unconservative [sic] spending and some retrospective doubts about the wisdom of invading Iraq. But his decision, Mr. Buckley said, had more to do with his own mortality.”

And here’s Buckley himself on the war on Iraq: “With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn’t the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago. If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war.”

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