George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has elicited a variety of public perceptions regarding his policies, personality, and performance as a head of state. In the U.S. and elsewhere, journalists, polling organizations, and others have documented the expression of an evolving array of opinions of President Bush. Time magazine named George W. Bush as its Person of the Year for 2000 and 2004, citing him as the most influential person during these two years.

The approval ratings of George W. Bush ranged from a record high to a record low. Bush began his presidency with ratings near 60%. In the time of national crisis following the September 11 attacks, polls showed approval ratings of greater than 85%, peaking in at 92%,and a steady 80–90% approval for about four months after the attacks. Afterward, his ratings steadily declined as the economy suffered and the Iraq War initiated by his administration continued. By early 2006, his average rating was near 40%, and in July 2008, a poll indicated a low of 22%.

In an August 2008 Rasmussen poll, likely voters were asked the question “Will history rate George W. Bush as the worst President ever?”— 50% responded “no”, 41% said “yes” and 9% were “unsure”.

At the beginning of his first term, Bush’s reputation suffered due to his narrow victory in Florida and the attendant controversy surrounding his electoral college victory, which included accusations of vote suppression and tampering. While routinely criticized by Democrats, Bush was also sometimes criticized by Republicans. A number of American celebrities and sports and media personalities engaged in heated criticism of Bush.

Bush was also subject to criticism in the international community for his foreign policy. He was, at times, targeted by the global anti-war and anti-globalization campaigns. Street protests sometimes occurred during Bush’s diplomatic visits to other countries. His policies were the subject of heated criticism in the 2002 elections in Germany and the 2006 elections in Canada.

Bush’s intellectual capacities were questioned by the media and politicians who speculated about his IQ. A hoax report claiming Bush had the lowest IQ of any American President of the last 50 years circulated in 2001 .

 Though no official IQ test score for Bush has been found, the score he received on his SAT during his final year of prep school at the exclusive Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts is known. He scored 1206, which has been correlated to an IQ of 120. The score that Bush received on his qualifying test for the military suggests that his IQ was in the mid 120’s, placing him in the 95th percentile of the population for intelligence. An article published in the journal Political Psychology estimated Bush’s IQ at 125. The same study estimated the IQ of Bush’s predecessor Bill Clinton at 149. The study’s director noted that “Bush may be ‘much smarter’ than the findings imply”.

He went to Yale, he has had an exclusive upbringing and he is by no means a dimwit .

Bush received criticism for publicly using phrases like “bring it on” and “wanted dead or alive,” both regarding terrorists . Opinions of Bush from outside the U.S. are less than favorable. For example, a global sampling in 2005 of 21 nations found that 58% of those sampled believed that the president’s reelection would have a negative impact on their peace and security; only 26% believed it would have a positive one.

In 18 of the 21 countries surveyed, a majority of respondents held an unfavorable opinion of Bush. Respondents indicated that they judged his administration as “negative” for world security.

The United Kingdom’s Daily Mirror newspaper ran the following headline the day of Bush’s reelection: “How Can 59,054,087 People Be So Dumb?”, underlining Bush’s unpopularity in some sections of the British press. Among the population of Britain, two-thirds of the population holds a dim view of Bush, a figure that is duplicated in Canada.

After his reelection in 2004, Bush was viewed favorably by 38% and unfavorably by 53% in Italy, but much worse in other countries: “Three-quarters of those in Spain and more than 80% in France and Germany had a negative view of President Bush’s role in world affairs.” In Turkey, 72% of those polled said that Bush’s reelection made them “feel worse about Americans”. In November 2006, a survey taken in Great Britain, Mexico, and Canada showed that they believe Bush is more dangerous than North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In Islamic countries, opinion of Bush was even less favorable. In Islamic countries, Bush’s unfavorable ratings were particularly high, often over 90%

Blue denotes “approve”, red “disapprove”, and green “unsure”
George W. Bush Approval/Disapproval Ratings. Data from Gallup/USA Today poll

Source – wikipedia


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