Bush vs. Obama: Who’s the Better Commander in Chief, According to Vets of Iraq, Afghanistan?

Conservatives are not, I don’t think, exactly fans of President George W. Bush as a president, but they (and I) usually say they like him as a person.

As a president, ol’ W. certainly was no true conservative. He campaigned on promises of conservatism, but once he got in office he shifted leftward and led like a moderate—probably how we can expect his nephew Jeb Bush to lead if Republicans are so imbecilic as to nominate him to be the candidate who goes up against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

As a person, however, we like him. We’ve never met him, but he seems like a really fun, humble, down-to-earth everyman who you just can’t stay mad at. As a president, he was good in some places, okay in others, and still horrible elsewhere. But as a man, I, for one, can’t help but respect him.

But I say all that to talk about his job as Commander in Chief. That’s where it matters, in the end, for a president. President Barack Obama seems like a nice enough guy (I’ve heard he’s not, but he at least seems to be), but what matters is his job performance.

According to a Washington Post / Kaiser Family Foundation poll of 891 American troops who fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars started under Bush, 65 percent say Bush was a good Commander in Chief and 28 percent said he was not.

This is fascinating, if you think about it. Sixty-five percent approval from the very people who lived through what Bush was most criticized for is a very good rating. Up until the economic collapse in 2008 (which could not at all have been the result of two decades of banks being required, by President Bill Clinton, to give loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back), those wars were the primary things Bush was condemned for, and yet 65 percent of the troops who experienced those wars firsthand give him their approval. That’s remarkable.

Surely Obama has a higher score among those same people, though, right?

“[O]nly 42 percent of those surveyed said they believe Obama is a ‘good commander-in-chief of the military.’ Forty eight percent said he is not.”

Okay, well…they’re just our military. What do they know about the affairs of war?