Daily Wisdom

April 21, 2006

What Bush Needs To Do

April 21, 2006 -- The economy is surging. Real GDP increased a solid 3.5% in 2005. Inflation is under control. Manufacturing expansion continues. Construction spending is at an all time high. More than 5.1 million jobs have been created since August 2003. There have been 31 straight months of job increases. The unemployment rate is lower than the average of any time during the 1960s, 70s, 80s or 90s. The stock market is hovering near all-time highs. Corporations are announcing record earnings. Jobs are going unfilled for lack of available candidates. College grads face the best job market in 5 years. Twelve million illegal immigrants are also earning the best money they've ever enjoyed in their lifetimes. And if the illegals weren't here, the unemployment rate would be even lower.

Back in the days of the 1992 presidential election, a phrase was coined that has been attributed to James Carville... "It's the economy, stupid!" Considering that the present economy is so robust, one would assume that President Bush would be riding a tidal wave of poll ratings approaching or exceeding 80% approval. Nevertheless, the polls would suggest that second only to the war in Iraq, the economy is one of the nation's greatest concerns. And President Bush's approval ratings are in the 35-40% range. So what gives? And what must the President do to turn public opinion around?

There can be no doubt that the war in Iraq hangs heavy over public sentiment. Like the Sword of Damocles, it creates fear, doubt, and uncertainty. We have primarily the mainstream media (MSM) to thank for this malaise. It seems as if the MSM delights in giving us "only the news that's sh*t to print". Their liberal bias has been documented so often, that an undergrad at any college could generate a doctoral thesis on the subject that would not be refuted. The MSM will form an alliance with anybody that hates Bush, and has adopted the following policy statement... "If it's bad for America, it's bad for Bush". The result has been a continual stream of depressing, negative, anti-American slurs aimed not so much at honest reporting, as at "tar-and-feathering" the Administration for its alleged failures.

Why the partisanship? It's nothing new. There was isolationism and anti-war sentiment during World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. But the current round of anti-Administration sentiment can trace its roots directly to Monica Lewinsky. The Democrats never forgave the Republicans for impeaching their hero Bill Clinton. At that point, the partisan divide grew about as wide as one could imagine. The presidential election debacle of 2000 only added fuel to the fire. Die-hard Democrats will always believe that George W. Bush "stole" the election from Al Gore, despite the fact that the MSM news outlets predicted outcomes way too early. The Democrats only became more bitter with John F. Kerry's defeat in 2004.

In the face of such opposition, George W. Bush should take a lesson from Ronald W. Reagan. President Reagan took a lot of grief during his presidency as well, but never to the extent of GWB. In fact Ronald Reagan was called the "Teflon President", because nothing bad seemed to stick to him. In an article by Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-CO), the self-avowed liberal who coined the term "Teflon President", it was Reagan's ability to connect with Americans that afforded him that attribute, as well as his being "The Great Communicator". Schroeder further says... "And, let's be honest, Reagan told people what they wanted to hear."

So what can George W. Bush learn from Ronald Wilson Reagan? Lots. And it shouldn't be taken piecemeal. It should be taken together as a package.

First, George Bush needs to communicate more... and BETTER. Ronald Reagan used to go on air with charts and graphs that were simple to understand. People can really grasp a well-prepared chart or graph. With employment numbers up 5.1 million from August 2003, a simple graph would go a long way towards convincing people we are moving in the right direction. Unemployment is lower than 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s? Use a table or chart! The stock market is up? Use another graph!

George Bush also needs to "show" the American people why gasoline prices are so high. He needs to show them with charts that gas consumption is up because SUVs use more gas than typical sedans. He needs to show us "WHO" controls the world's oil supplies and where it might be subject to curtailment (i.e., Iran, Venezuala, Nigeria, etc) which puts upward pressure on price. He needs to show Americans how small the proposed ANWR drilling area is versus the entire ANWR. He needs to show Americans how many untapped oil reserves we have off the coasts of Florida and California, etc. He needs to show Americans how American oil can offset foreign oil. He needs to show Americans that "ZERO" refineries have been built in America in the last 30 years versus how many we need. He needs to show Americans that "ZERO" greenhouse gas emissions are produced from nuclear power plants. He needs to show Americans that "ZERO" nuclear plants have been built in America in the last 30 years. He needs to show Americans that clean nuclear electricity can produce clean hydrogen.

But simply communicating more and better is not enough. GWB needs to tell the American people what they want to hear. The American people do not want to hear that the war in Iraq is endless. The American people do not want to hear that oil companies made millions or billions of dollars in profits when they are paying top prices at the gas pump. The American people want hear GOOD news. They want to hear about American victories and successes. If the MSM won't give it to them, then the President needs to share it with them. And not from some little college out in the Midwest during the middle of the day. They want to hear it on prime-time TV. Like Ronald Reagan's speeches, Americans want to hear that America's best days are still ahead. Americans want to hear that they are a bright shining city on a hill. Americans want answers. They want to know they are being heard. And they want optimism.

No small task for GWB, but then... Ronald Reagan is a tough act to follow.

13 Comments:

At 4/22/2006 8:03 AM , Blogger MargeinMI said...

Hear here! Or Here Hear! As much as I admire GWB for not stooping to a comeback for every slam (unlike Clintoon), sometimes his silence is deafening and frustrating. Also, what little positive news that does come out of the White House is immediately drowned out by the LOUDNESS of the MSM. I agree that more primetime exposure with lots of FACTS would help the Right, but these days, FEELINGS seem to outweigh FACTS with the most vocal. Time to speak a little louder to get our voices heard. I'd like to see some counter-protesting out there, especially regarding illegal immigration. Language is very important also: even the conservative WSJ is lax in this area, still using 'undocumented workers', 'guest workers', etc. Sorry, what part of ILLEGAL don't they understand!!! I'm not racist against Mexicans, but I AM against lawbreakers of any stripe.


YEARRRRRRRRRGHHHHH!

Now, see what you did Hawkeye? Gittin' me all riled up this early in the morning!

 
At 4/22/2006 8:06 AM , Blogger MargeinMI said...

Oh, yeah, as far as unemployment goes......read some Great News yesterday!!! Seems Michigan has moved UP and is now only 49th instead of 50th! WOOOHOOOOOO! We beat out Mississippi!!!!!!!!!! We're on a roll!!!!!

sigh.

 
At 4/22/2006 9:59 AM , Blogger Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

Has it been that long since we heard the billiard ball say, "It's the economy stupid." Oh how I miss seeing his ugly puss on the telly. But, my, how times fly.

Ohio has a republican govenor but he is an idjet when it comes to job creation. I'm afraid the Democrats are really going to use that in the next election.

 
At 4/22/2006 10:04 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Marge,
Don't get TOO riled up. I wouldn't want you to blow a head gasket or anything (:D)

YEARRRRRRRRRGHHHHH! ??? Now you're startin' to sound like Howeird Dean (ducking and running).

 
At 4/22/2006 10:09 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Ms RW,
Well, as they say, all politics is local. As Marge alluded to in her comment, I guess job creation is not uniform across the country. And not all industries are as healthy as others (autos and airlines for example).

 
At 4/22/2006 3:48 PM , Blogger camojack said...

It's not just a job, it's an adventure...

 
At 4/22/2006 4:47 PM , Blogger Kajun said...

The only jobs created by Louisiana Governors are Procicuting attorneys, judges, and Wardens!

 
At 4/22/2006 7:29 PM , Blogger Barb said...

I think if George Bush tried to go on TV in prime time,with charts and graphs,the MSM simply wouldn't carry it. They have done this several times now ,not carrying a Presidential speech. Oh , they always have good reasons like a football game or Poker.
He is saying wonderfully informative things in his speeches now ,but we don't get to hear it. Even Fox leans more and more toward the MSM.Remember 'Fitzmas"? The Mary McCarthy story should be all we are hearing,but it has sure been a big surprise to everyone I have told.

 
At 4/22/2006 7:40 PM , Blogger Beerme said...

Hawkeye®,

I agree with you, for the most part. A sustained PR campaign to explain the good that is out there should be presented to the people. But what really needs to be done is much more difficult.

The Republicans need to start acting like Republicans. They need to come out with a united front against earmarks, corruption and over-spending. Tell the people and the rest of the Republicans, that it is time for Republicans to lead the way to reduce spending and to end corruption. The rest is gravy! Until we stop these legislators from spending our money like drunken sailors, we're never going to see the real recovery we should be seeing.

All the economic indicators show a great economy. Can you imagine how much greater it would be if government spending were down and a more regulations-free climate were enacted for our businesses?

 
At 4/23/2006 1:23 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Kajun,
You're probably right. Businesses create jobs, not Governors. But the governors can foster a climate for job creation by lowering taxes, offering tax incentives, and getting out there and courting the industries they want in their state.

 
At 4/23/2006 1:25 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Barb,
You might be right, but since Bush has tried it yet, who knows? He's got to go over the heads of the MSM and right to the average guy.

 
At 4/23/2006 1:29 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Beerme,
No argument there. "Republicans acting like Republicans"... what a concept! And how 'bout, Republicans acting like conservatives. Or, Republicans acting like they control the White House, Senate & House of Reps? Sheesh!

And yes, less spending would be a good thing.

 
At 4/23/2006 9:02 PM , Anonymous Darthmeister said...

Of course all those new jobs created during the Bush Administration are minimum wage jobs. This is actually a "hollow recovery."

Can anyone say, "Moooooooonbaaaaats!"

 

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