29 July, 2007

President Just A Game Out?

Painfully now, for many months we have endured President W. Bush's low approval ratings. Seems like years since he's been on the plus side of the political Mendoza line. We have seemingly settled around 30% postive and 60% negative when asked our views of P-Dub and the direction he is taking us or our opinion of the job he is doing.

Climbing up into the positive numbers, ascending back up the charts is no easy task. Impossible for musicians, once your song reaches it's peak on the Billboard Hot 100, it does not make a come-back, unless a pretty girl re-sings your song twenty years down the road. Our President had huge positive numbers a few years ago, up into the 70% range, and while those highs can be attributed to 9-11, he did average out in the 60s for quite some time. Does the universe allow a come back for Bush II? The distance from 30% to 70% seems an impossibly long way to climb, and certainly 133% is quite an upturn in anyone's average of anything. Our leader may find it impossible to pull off, and certainly, no one in the major media is jumping onboard to help him. Actually, even many in his own party are leaving the lame duck, in flocks.

So how do you get from the 30s to the 60s in the approval game? Really, it is not that far. All you have to do is convince one person; well, OK, one out of three, but that's just a formality. Right now if President Bush &CO were a baseball team, they would be the Devil Rays, winners of 38 of their first 103 games for a winning percentage in the three hundreds, or for our designs, an approval rating, in the mid thirty percent range.

The opposite end of the baseball spectrum, the Boston Red Sox win almost two out of every three games. So, in theory, if the Devil Rays could just win that third game, they'd be right up there with the best in their sport. Well, in baseball, statisically it is true that in any 3 games the best teams consistently win 2 and the worst teams usually find a way to lose that "rubber game". However, the ingredients needed to win that third game consistently are myriad and expensive. Depth, especially in the pitching staff is key. Any sports fan knows that defense wins championships and in baseball, defense--stopping the other team from scoring--begins with the pitcher.

So the D-Rays can not just say they are going to win two out of three from now on, they have to actually do something to make it happen; and when the Red Sox and Yankees pound the Devil Rays into submission night after night, the boys from Tampa can not stomp their feet and call the winning teams "anti-baseball". The Drays will have to make a few changes to their corporate culture, and to some extent, they actually have over the last year or so. President Bush would also have to make some corporate level changes in policy and people if he wanted to at least finish his season on a positive note, and maybe even a small winning streak.

Can President Bush re-convert the lost third? Can he make the jump from having the faith of 1 out of 3 Americans to 2 out of 3? Unfortunately for us, probably not. He was supposed to be a great identifier of talent. He put Cheney on the case of "Find me a V.P", and Dick came back with, "Gee, guess what, I looked high and low, and you're not going to believe this but, here I am, chief!" That should have been a warning to more Americans. In reality he was not the great "identifier".

Americans will forgive almost anything, but America hates a quitter. President Bush's biggest problem is that for the last several months, he just looks like he quit. He does not even seem to try, he walks like he's resigned himself to failure. He knew, we all knew, that he was no fantastic orator. but in almost 7 years as President, does it appear that he has spent 20 minutes studying to imporve his public speaking? No cellar dweller is going to go from worst to first if he ignores the fundamentals. A President, of anything, is no exception. Maybe voting for a "delegat-er in chief" was not such a hot idea. Never less, we have "the decider" in our White House for another 17 months, and what happens between now and January 2009 may just be the rubber game of his career.

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