Public image of George W. Bush
George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has elicited a variety of public perceptions regarding his policies, personality, and performance as a head of state. In the U.S. and elsewhere, journalists, polling organizations, and others have documented the expression of an evolving array of opinions of President Bush. Time magazine named George W. Bush as its Person of the Year for 2000 and 2004, citing him as the most influential person during these two years. According to Time, the distinction goes to the person who, for good or ill, has most affected the course of the year; it is therefore not necessarily an honor or a reward. As the President’s tenure evolved, George W. Bush finished his presidency with the lowest approval rating of any American President in world history (19%).
The approval ratings of George W. Bush have, at different points in time, run the gamut from high to all-time record low. Bush began his presidency with ratings near 50%. In the time of national crisis following the September 11 attacks, polls showed approval ratings of greater than 85%, peaking in one October 2001 poll at 92%, and a steady 80–90% approval for about four months after the attacks. Afterward, his ratings steadily declined as the economy suffered and the Iraq War initiated by his administration continued. By early 2006, his average rating was near 40%, and in July 2008, a poll indicated a near all-time low of 22%. A September 2008 poll recorded his approval rating as 19%, a record low for any sitting U.S. President.