Reagan and Bush Presidencies
It is widely accepted that George Bush Sr. was forced to outlive his presidency in the mighty shadow of Ronald Reagan. Reagan's charm and personality was one of his greatest strengths and, even now, is widely revered for his time as President. Bush was reportedly always conscious of people's expectations of him in view of his predecessor and this burden seemed to weigh heavily. Reagan's achievements in Washington were considerable if not in number than in impact. His political and strategic skills were impressive and Bush cannot be said to have equaled his ...view middle of the document...
Where Reagan was a conviction politician bringing in reform and new ideas, Bush was the guardian president, putting emphasis on conciliation and consolidation. Reagan's White House put the utmost priority on making the evening news, but Bush's less confrontational style of leadership was ultimately less newsworthy and he went out of his way to prove himself unimpressed by gimmickry, believing he could gain favorable coverage by treating the media with respect.
The short-term of Reagan's presidency severely hindered Bush in his first and only term as president. During his years as President, Reagan failed to once submit a balanced budget proposal to Congress and the deficit inherited by Bush was billions and billions of dollars. To a certain extent we could argue that Bush suffered unfairly at the hands of Reagan in not being able to fund the programs in which he professed an interest, particularly education. Responsibility must surely rest with him, however, for the political damage sustained by his inevitable reneging on the "Read my lips: No new taxes" pledge of his election campaign. Overall, it is generally agreed that the Bush legacy is not strong in the domestic policy arena; Reagan to this day enjoys a reputation as a brave and strong innovator with a good record of achievement. The polarization of their respective achievements is perhaps exaggerated, it seems clear that Reagan enjoyed the majority of his success in the legislative ,awhile Bush's glory lies elsewhere.
One of the most common criticisms of Bush is one that can never be laid at the door of Ronald Reagan; that of a clear vision or coherent objectives. To this is attributed his lack of decisive action on the strength of his popularity. George Bush himself admitted he had no "vision thing" and this could well be considered one of his greatest failings. Voters expected leadership and some...