Feds express strong opinions–for and against President Bush

A majority of respondents give the President a favorable job rating. Comments were strongly worded on both sides.

The Fedsmith.com poll this week asked the question: How do you rate the performance of President George W. Bush?

While this is not a scientific survey, our past experience with these polls has been that the results tend to track nationwide polls, at least on broad issues that do not relate specifically to Federal employees. This poll was an exception to that general rule.

Approximately 50% of the respondents indicated that they approve of the performance of President Bush. That is about 20% less than a recent nationwide poll. 48% do not approve of the job performance of the President. That is also quite a bit less than the recent nationwide poll.

There are several possible reasons for the difference. One possibility is that Federal employees are concentrated in metropolitan areas which tend to reflect a more liberal political point of view. Another is that many respondents believe that their recent pay raise was not sufficient or benefits are not what they believe they should be.

The comments we received reflect the rationale of our respondents. Here is an excerpt from one of the most strongly worded submissions:

“Mr. Bush continues to show an abysmal performance level as the leader of our country. I have never been embarassed (sic) at the person representing us before….. We need to impeach him, the sooner the better.”

Another similar comment we received from a Dept. of Labor employee read, in part:

“Before Bush was ‘elected’ we were at peace. Following the 9/11 attack the whole world was sympathetic to America and what we were going through. Now we are warmongers for reasons that are fuzzy at best, the economy is in the toilet, anti-American sentiments are growing throughout the world, and our civil rights are rapidly eroding. I hope America wakes up before it is too late to repair the damage.”

Other Feds responding were also disapproving of the President for more personal reasons. This may surprise some since we are in the midst of a war and a recession with a number of Americans losing their jobs but it reflected a trend among a segment of respondents. Here are some of the comments from one Army employee:

“…cutting govt jobs, retirement, health insurance benefits…

We were better off with Wild Bill.”

Another Fed chimed in with similar comments:

“The proposed raises are insulting, tax cuts won’t benefit but a tiny percentage of citizens, etc. If this is “compassionate” conservatism, I don’t even think I could image (sic) “uncompassionate”.

A local union president sent these comments:

“I approve of the President’s handling of the war. I disapprove of the President’s handling of the Federal Empoyee issues.”

But, since 50% of the respondents gave the President a favorable rating, there were also a number of comments from readers reflecting their opinion. One Air Force employee wrote:

“President Bush is doing a superb job and I hope he keeps up the great job.”

And a DFAS employee wrote:

“Our Commander in Chief (Mr George Bush) is doing an outstanding job! Praise God for him!”

In a similar vein, a DoD employee wrote:

“I admire President Bush’s determination to protect our country especially in view of opposition both abroad and at home. If the Democrats cared as much about this country and would work with our great President, just imagine how much better we could be.”

And, someone from the Pentagon summed up most of these comments this way:

“While the military was eviscerated by eight years of neglect under the Clinton administration, Pres. Bush has demonstrated leadership and courage of his convictions. His actions will ultimately achieve real peace as we are now taking decisive action instead ignoring threats against our country. He has also restored dignity to the office of the President. We are fortunate he was elected at this critical time in our history.”

Thanks to all readers who took the time to respond to the poll question and to send in their comments.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47