General Question

dannyc's avatar

Was George Bush underrated in some ways?

Asked by dannyc (5240points) May 30th, 2009

I went to the Bush/Clinton meeting here in Toronto on Friday, and frankly was surprised by how charming, insightful, and intelligent Bush showed himself to be. He was far and away more charismatic than Clinton at this engagement at least. I went in with preconceived predictions and thus, once again proved to myself how making assumptions is a dangerous game. In any case, it got me to wonder what positive qualities Bush had that captured the American vote. We all know the negative, but there may be more to his election than the world gives this dude credit for, even if one does not agree with his policies.

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35 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Well, it would be damn hard for him to be overrated…

dannyc's avatar

@dverhey. Thanks, but that was not my question.

Blondesjon's avatar

Bush I or II?

Blondesjon's avatar

Then no. George W, was not underrated. Remember, Ted Bundy was very charismatic as well.

Crusader's avatar

Both were ‘selected’ and not ‘elected’. At least Bush attempted to administer government based on utilitarian principles, though fiscally irresponsible often, his adversaries, all centrists and leftists, demanded compromise.

dannyc's avatar

He still made it to the biggest job in the world, twice, with, according to his critics, being stupid, etc…Something had to be at work, hence the question. I would not have voted for him had I a vote, but of course, he did win twice. What was at work? That is what I am querying, not a personal opinion of whether you liked him or not.

oratio's avatar

I have seen clips of him from before he was a governor. He fast good at arguing in polemics and witty.
It didn’t seem to be the same bush as the one “putting food on his family”, and “the fool that can’t be fooled again”. I think there is intelligence in there, but it sure didn’t come out that way many times.

So stupid? No. I don’t think so at all.

I have always thought he was charming, and I think he would be a lot of fun spending time with.

But his political actions as a president speaks for himself in black and white. He is not the right man to carry the football.

Crusader's avatar


Critics? His is the same establishment as Clinton, just different agenda temporarily. Criticism need an arbitrary source to be valid, there is none in the US.

figbash's avatar

If anyone tried to answer the simple question of what was at work to get George W Bush elected, they’d be be here all night addressing all of the things that had nothing to do with him including but not limited to: money, private interests, lack of information, shady dealings, oil, fear, blind faith, nepotism, greed, delusion, ignorance, manipulation, The Wizard of Oz, banking, and expensive machines. That’s just the beginning.

Blondesjon's avatar

@figbash…Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, pla-doh, Cocaine Cartels, old favors, and the Illuminati.

Ivan's avatar

Conservatives like stupid candidates.

archer's avatar

he is currently underrated in two respects. one, his successes in preventing terrorism on u.s. soil. and two for the damage he has done to the conservative movement through his lack of articulation and defense of conservative principles, unwillingness to strongly confront adversaries (the news media and the congress), and his taking the first steps toward socialism—steps which obama is now runnning with at full speed.

Ivan's avatar


3,000 people died from terrorism on U.S. soil during Bush’s presidency. How is that “success?”

AstroChuck's avatar

Ha! Hahahahaha!
<<wipes tears from eyes>>

cwilbur's avatar


Bush couldn’t articulate any conservative principles because he wasn’t living by them. Strong national defense is a conservative principle; preemptive war is a travesty. Fiscal responsibility is a conservative principle; Bush was worse than a tax and spend liberal in that regard, because he borrowed and spent, just delaying the tax bill until later.

The damage he did to his allies are their just desserts for putting him in power in the first place.

And regarding “preventing terrorism on U.S. soil”—I’ve been snapping my fingers twice a day since October 2001 to prevent terrorist attacks. Can’t you see how well it’s working?

archer's avatar

much thanks for the finger snapping, i and my family are quite grateful.

don’t agree on the preemptive war comment, but couldn’t agree more on the comment re spending

MacBean's avatar

I’ll give him this much: The man has excellent reflexes. The man’s almost 63 and he can still duck a shoe better than I can at 25.

Crusader's avatar

The perfect politician as insubstantial as clouds on domestic issues, as volitile ane deadly as lightning in foreign affairs..

SirBailey's avatar

I think it’s unfair to complain about the past 8 years. People reelected him four years ago, SO, technically, we should complain about the last FOUR years only.

ratboy's avatar

Yes, he did much more crack then anyone gives him credit for.

AstroChuck's avatar

No one could twist the English language, choke on pretzels, and provide so much material for comedians as Dubya did. You’ve got to give him that.

Oh! And not many could send so many young men and women to their deaths in a country that did absolutely nothing to us than he could. And lie! Boy, he had that down too. Being a chicken hawk, squelching scientific knowledge and research, religious zealosy, dismantling environmental protection, destroying our soft power… there were a lot of ways he was underrated.

Crusader's avatar


Iraq was an inevitable continuation of the Persian Gulf war, really, the appointed Republican hawk was a justification, and, a very heavy blow on Christian social conservatives, opening the way for a Very liberal society, one that probably would not be nearly as liberal today if a democrat had waged the war…

alive's avatar

no. he is not (and was not) underrate. his “charisma” or “lovableness” might have got him elected. he ran on the premise that he was “an everyday fella” who “drinks beers and goes to bbq’s” (he used to be quite the party boy, which im sure has given him a lot of experience chatting with people)

but that does not mean he was a good president. he ran the economy into the ground, he got the US into a never-ending war, he slashed money for education, and increased the interest rates for student loans.

the one good thing i remember him doing was (correctly) calling the war in sudan a genocide… but then he didn’t do anything about it.

(also his “charisma” has gotten him in trouble. he does not know when it is appropriate to act professional. he is always in his “relaxed hanging out with buddies” mode. not a good thing for a president)

mattbrowne's avatar

Charm is overrated as a factor for being a good politician.

oratio's avatar

Yes, but it sure can get you elected.

AstroChuck's avatar

I hear that Hitler could be charming as well.

mattbrowne's avatar

@AstroChuck – Hitler? With his dog, yes. And his secretaries perhaps. Have you seen the movie

It’s excellent and tells the story from Traudl Junge’s perspective who was Hitler’s secretary. She died in 2002 and the movie is based on a documentary she wrote. When dealing with his generals and ministers Hitler wasn’t charming at all. He sounds like the crossbreed of an angry 17-year-old teenager and a T-Rex. Mean, ugly, disgusting, perverse. Everything but charming.

AstroChuck's avatar

@mattbrowne- You need to stop taking all of my comments seriously.

mattbrowne's avatar

@AstroChuck – yes, I should indeed – well, when Hitler is mentioned most Germans almost never realize it could be meant as a joke. Or put it another way: everything related to the Third Reich switches off the ‘joke cortex’ in our brains. Automatically. I realize that more than 60 years after WWII this sort of ‘conditioning’ seems a bit strange outside of Germany… When Germans encounter expressions like ‘grammar nazi’ they go ballistic because they are so outraged and offended while most Americans think the term is harmless.

Just out of curiosity: Do you know the movie I mentioned?

AstroChuck's avatar

Der Untergang? Nein.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ich kann den Film sehr empfehlen!

AstroChuck's avatar

I’ll look for it. Is it in German w/ English subtitles or English dubbing?

mattbrowne's avatar

# Directors: Oliver Hirschbiegel
# Writers: Bernd Eichinger, Joachim Fest, Melissa Müller, Traudl Junge
# Producers: Bernd Eichinger, Christine Rothe, Doris J. Heinze
# Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
# Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
# Subtitles: English
# Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
# Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
# Number of discs: 1
# Rating: R (Restricted)
# Studio: Sony Pictures
# DVD Release Date: August 2, 2005
# Run Time: 156 minutes

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