It's no secret that the Bush administration has really fumbled the ball on this Portgate deal. Even though it's a private deal with private companies involved and he hasn't much to say about it, even if it were to turn out to be a safe deal and the stink made about it was "much ado about nothing", they have some serious egg on their faces. That is why you see the numbers you do in these latest polls from CBS.
Mr. Bush's overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.
Even for a CBS poll this is low. An 8 percentage point drop is a lot, especially after he had been trending upward a little. This tells me that he has lost a few from his base and the only real big screw-up that has occurred, has been Portgate. Everything else has remained pretty much status quo.
But the President isn't the only one suffering from bad numbers.
Still, the incident appears to have made the public's already negative view of Cheney a more so. Just 18 percent said they had a favorable view of the vice president, down from 23 percent in January.
18%, just a meager 18%. This means Cheney has lost a lot of his base over this and other perceived blunders. The important thing to note that CBS (not being able to resist faulty assumptions) attributes his drop to the hunting accident. I don't believe it. But I think it does mean that he is a serious liability to the President, going into the elections, no matter what the cause is, real or imagined.
But the fact remains, Republicans desperately need some kind of boost. Their image is sadly damaged. They are needing something to perk up the electorate and get them believing in them again. Because no matter what the spin doctors say this has been a disaster for the Administration and the Dems are not going to be the answer. But they will be the ones that get the luxury of the spoils (by default not by choice), if the GOP doesn't get busy.
What are the Republicans going to do if the Dems don't nominate Hillary? What if they nominate a Mark Warner or an Evan Bayh? What if someone runs a campaign that advocates a closer look at how the borders are being patrolled? What if they run someone that will promise more money will be spent on domestic security? The experts think that Hillary is a lock for the nomination in 08. Karl Rove spends a lot of time talking about her, as if she is the one.
He wants her to get the nomination, she will be easier to beat than Democratic moderates Warner or Bayh. A moderate Dem may actually be able to come out more tougher on the border and other domestic security issues and force the GOP to debate it. This is something the GOP has been weak on and it certainly could be exploited by the Dems. But they won't be able to do it by putting a screeching Hillary, a screaming Dean, or a dull and two-faced elitist Kerry, on the ticket. Any Dem that presents a reasonable image and is close to the center, stands a reasonable chance of gaining back the White House, a radical will go down to defeat once again.
But as for Cheney, he isn't running again. And, you can bet that if something doesn't give soon, his resignation will soon be welcomed even by the bulk of the GOP base. Many may disagree, but I think it is a chance that they have to take. They cannot afford to take votes for granted, which is precisely what they will be doing, if they are so self-confident to believe that Cheney is no longer a liability.
As for me, as a moderate and an independent, my vote is not guaranteed to go to anybody. I will determine who is best suited to lead this nation in a time of war, and I will vote for the one that will be able to protect us, best. Because this war will not go away with the inauguration that will be held on January 20, 2009.