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Why Bush doesn’t like going out in public

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, April 2nd, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: International - Tags:

Do you think our politicians are unpopular? This story from the Washington Post puts any of those thoughts in perspective:

There’s a reason President Bush almost never appears before members of the general public: They really don’t like him.

Despite the delirious mood of Washington Nationals fans on opening night at their new stadium, Bush was greeted with loud boos when he came to the mound to deliver the traditional first pitch.

Video from the Washington Times indicates that the boos were lusty. An ESPN video, via ThinkProgress.org, is more of a mixed bag of boos and cheers. But in additional Youtube videos from fans in right field and high above first base the boos had it.

We should celebrate the fact that none of our politicians are this reviled.

16 comments on “Why Bush doesn’t like going out in public ”

  1. andy 1

    The thing that struck me was this was in Washington itself. It was his political base booing, in a political town. I would have thought that most DC people would not boo any president of any stripe.


  2. andy 2

    We should celebrate the fact that none of our politicians are this reviled.

    John Banks gets egged at Auckland Uni, Brash and mud, HC in tears at waitangi. The list goes on…

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    Im surprised he is in a open crowd at all.
    Reagan had a bullet proof glass shield to appear at the stadium for the LA Olympics.
    Or does Bush have an amoured vest under the jacket just like the politicians do when they go outside anywhere in Iraq

  4. Dancer 4

    i would not that it was 1998 that the PM was in tears and four years ago since Dr Brash was on the receiving end (not sure about Banks). So my general point remains. By and large our MPs get a pretty fair deal from people, and in turn we get pretty good access to them.

  5. Scribe 5


    The thing that struck me was this was in Washington itself. It was his political base booing, in a political town. I would have thought that most DC people would not boo any president of any stripe.

    Maryland is a Democratic stronghold and Virginia, while a bit more of a “swing state”, has become a lot more Democratic in recent elections. The fact he got booed doesn’t surprise me, and probably didn’t surprise him.

    It’d be a bit like John Key going to speak at a union function.

  6. andy 6


    Maryland is a Democratic stronghold and Virginia

    thats awsome, but it was a new team and new stadium in Washington DC, as in District of Columbia.

    It would be like John Key getting Booed at a treasury function at the beehive.

    Nationals Park is in the Southeast section of Washington DC, approximately one mile south of the U.S. Capitol; the site is bordered by South Capitol Street, First Street, N Street and Potomac Avenue.

    It’d be a bit like John Key going to speak at a union function.

    And you would be surprised JK would be given quite a lot of time at a union function, there are lots of ‘rich prick’ union members 🙂

  7. Scribe 7


    Yes, it’s in DC, but people pour in to DC from Maryland and Virginia to work and “play”.

    In fact, to further underline my point, like Wellington Central, our equivalent electorate, DC is incredibly left-leaning.

    From Wikipedia: For example, 89% of D.C. voters supported the Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, a higher percentage than any state mustered for any candidate.

    I was just pointing out that he was surrounded by people who are hostile to his party, and they might have booed regardless of the war or the economy.

    You’re right that comparing that with JK at a union meeting might be a false analogy given many unionists, especially the spokespeople, are getting pretty rich from their work.

    Maybe John Key at a VUWSA meeting is more fitting?

  8. andy 8


    Maybe John Key at a VUWSA meeting is more fitting?

    I’ll by that 🙂

    I was still surprised as baseball is red blooded American sport! Shows the zeitgeist has changed in the US from the hyper patriotic days…

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    I thought DC residents didn’t vote, but no matter. DC has a high African American population so I’d guess it would trend Dem.

    Virginia however has voted:

    Bush 54 Kerry 46
    Bush 53 Gore 44
    Dole 47 Clinton 45
    Bush 45 Clinton 41
    Bush 60 Dukakis 39

    So I think it’s a stretch to call it a swing state with regard to Presidents.

    This is interesting re popularity of the GOP,


  10. Scribe 10


    DC residents vote in the presidential election, but don’t have any state senators etc, just one “representative”, I think in the Congress.

    I was looking at Virginia in terms of state elections as well as federal, eg the 2006 mid-terms.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Thanks re DC Scribe. Ain’t the US a strange place. 🙂

    I’d still say Bush’s unpopularity accounts for the booing as well as the trending dem of various states in 06. Rather than some inherent swing-y-ness


    They’re just not that into him anymore dude.

  12. Scribe 12


    We’re in agreement there. But have you seen the approval ratings for the Democratic-run Congress? If you think Bush is unpopular, what would you call the Congress?

    Couldn’t open your link, but according to a story on the web, Bush’s approval ratings are in the 30s and Congress’s is 19%!!

    Seems just about any politician — with the possible exception of media darling Barack Obama — would get booed at a baseball game 😉

  13. andy 13

    Congress’s is 19%!!

    Akin to our politicians ranked down there with used car salesmen, damned the lot of them 🙂

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Scribe, Yep congress is worse. But again I think that is due to Bush being so reviled.;)

    Bear with me for a second.

    The only folks who like congress are hard core dem partisans who can’t bring themselves to criticise them. We don’t really have yellow dog supporters here, but I’ve known a guy (online) in Texas who hasn’t had a sit down meal with a Republican since the Kent State shootings. That includes his parents, whom he loves with a passion. But he can’t break bread with a republican, y’see, and they understand.

    But I digress.

    The 80 odd percent of people that don’t approve of congress includes all your GOP partisans (the 28-31 that still support Bush), as well as all those folks who think congress has been too soft on the Whitehouse. Everyone that wants out of Iraq, everyone that wants New Orleans fixed, everyone that opposes the torture or the wiretapping or is just generally in favour of impeachment. So the congress is hated by two groups, who make up a huge majority.

    I’ll try and make that link work.


    Polling reprt is a great site if you havn’t already used it. Collates US poll results on pretty much everything. Congressional Dems are doing a lot better than Repubs, about 40 percent think their own congress critter is doing an ok job, etc etc. Makes me wish we had more interesting polling done here.

    for eg, this is interesting:


    Poor GOP ;(

    The only issue they beat the Dems on is Terrorism at home. And only 10 percent think that’s an important issue. I won’t predict it, but I won’t be surprised if the Dems end up with a veto proof congressional majority. Even if McCain can pull it out of the bag. Which I doubt.

  15. Scribe 15


    Thanks for that.

    I’d say the presidential race is completely up for grabs at the moment. Saw an interesting analysis last night that showed that if the election were held today, based on head-to-head, state-by-state polling between McCain/Obama and McCain/Clinton, McCain would have a handy lead in the states that appear clear-cut and, in both cases, the Dem would have to win most of the swing states.

    One of the concerns for the Dems is that if Obama is the nominee, and that looks an almost certainty, he would really struggle in crucial states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. Probably 80-85% of states are either red or blue, so it will really come down to eight or 10 state contests to determine who the winner is.

    If you look at the states Obama has won, for example, it’s interesting that many of them are states that the Dems don’t have a snowball’s chance of winning.

    captcha: Jail diplomats (All of them?) 😉

  16. Pascal's bookie 16


    I completely agree that, at the moment, the Pres race looks good for McCain. 😉

    And as for diplomats. Running around talking to prospective enemies. Sounds a bit fishy, what do they want to do that for? Pobably liberals. Best obey the captcha just to be safe.

    Enjoy your weekend.

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