Hope for the GOP - Obama Repeating Bush's Mistakes
For President Bush's popularity to reach the depth's that it did he had to irritate sizable portions of his base. That means Bush could not have popularity ratings under 30% if he only angered Democrats. How did Bush lose his base? Two things hurt him with conservatives and Republicans - failing to rein in out of control spending and getting involved in Republican primaries. Primary campaigns usually involve competing priorities within a party. Whichever side a president supports in a primary he is likely to alienate some supporters. When President Bush supported Arlen Specter against Pat Toomey it twice as problematic since Toomey represented the portion of the Republican party concerned with spending further compounding the hard feeling of those already worked up about his failure to veto any spending measures. Today the New York Times has an article regarding the Obama administration getting involved in various local races. The effort to get Governor Patterson not to seek another term was the starting point for the article and then they addressed administration involvement in various other races. In time I expect he will get similar results as Bush - irritated supporters of the candidate he doesn't endorse. The unlearned lesson is presidents should stay out of politics until the primaries are done.
Second lesson Obama failed to learn is that Bush didn't completely stop worrying about his popularity until after his reelection.