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Americans are supporting the new President -- and willing to cut him some slack to get the job done

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The very impressive poll numbers continue for Obama. But, the New York Times found something else: The American people are willing to give Obama time to turn things around:

Most Americans said they did not expect real progress in improving the economy, reforming the health care system or ending the war in Iraq — three of the central promises of Mr. Obama’s campaign — for at least two years. The poll found that two-thirds of respondents think the recession will last two years or longer.

As the nation prepares for a transfer of power and the inauguration of its 44th president, Mr. Obama’s stature with the American public stands in sharp contrast to that of President Bush.

Mr. Bush is leaving office with just 22 percent of Americans offering a favorable view of how he handled the eight years of his presidency, a record low, and firmly identified with the economic crisis Mr. Obama is inheriting. More than 80 percent of respondents said the nation was in worse shape today than it was five years ago.

By contrast, 79 percent were optimistic about the next four years under Mr. Obama, a level of good will for a new chief executive that exceeds that measured for any of the past five incoming presidents. And it cuts across party lines: 58 percent of the respondents who said they voted for Mr. Obama’s opponent in the general election, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said they were optimistic about the country in an Obama administration.
The American people have really had it with George Bush. As much as I loathe the guy -- and have loathed him for over eight years, it's still hard to grasp just how much damage he's done to our nation. It's good to know we can still be optimistic after the Bush debacle. Says a lot about the American people.

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