W. gets an F!

By By Andrew Cannon, By Andrew Cannon, and

By Andrew Cannon

Presidential re-election campaigns are really referenda on the candidates.

The electorate has the opportunity to either affirm the president and his agenda or reject them. A rejection of the president is an expression of dissatisfaction with his performance.

That is why I have been amazed by the disparity in polls between the public’s assessment of President George W. Bush’s job performance and those likely to vote for him.

In many of these polls, including those conducted by respected polling organizations such as Zogby and Gallup, Bush’s job approval rating is frequently less than 50 percent. Despite this, it is Bush who remains in a statistical tie with challenger John Kerry, and in a recent ABC News poll, he even leads by 5 percentage points.

What more does President Bush have to do to warrant his defeat on Nov. 2? Has he not done enough?

The recent report issued by Charles Duelfer, chief U.S. weapons inspector, dispelled any notions of Iraq having biological or chemical weapons, let alone nuclear weapons.

Before today, 1,102 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. More than 7,000 troops have been wounded in combat, with an additional 17,000 troops evacuated for non-combat related injuries.

Some estimates have been as high as 20,000 Iraqi civilian deaths as a direct result of the war. Bush has spent $120 billion on the war, with an additional $80 billion slated by this time next year.

Since 2001, 900,000 Americans have lost their jobs. President Bush will become the first president since Herbert Hoover to see a net loss of jobs during his time in office. President Ronald Reagan, who presided during a deeper and longer recession and the Cold War, created millions of jobs. Even President Jimmy Carter, presiding in the midst of an energy crisis, steep inflation, and sky-high interest rates, had created jobs.

President Bush turned a $236 billion budget surplus into a $415 billion budget deficit.

Today, according to the Census Bureau, 1.3 million more Americans are living in poverty now than in 2002. The number of Americans who are living below the poverty line has increased every year since President Bush entered office.

About 1.3 million Americans have lost their health-insurance coverage in the past year, another category that has increased for each year that Bush has been in office.

In the town hall presidential debate a few weeks ago, the president was asked to list three mistakes he had made in the course of his presidency. He refused to name any. Everybody, presidents included, makes mistakes and most of us can admit that. Instead, Bush refused to admit any.

On Nov. 2, we should show him with our votes how riddled with mistakes his presidency has been.

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