August 18th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Who sent clearer message as president, Bush or Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama - arguably one of the great orators and most articulate campaigners ever to occupy the White House - runs the risk of an "incoherent presidency." The White House is sending out mixed messages that have people scratching their heads and political opponents licking their chops.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/18/art.obama.bush.jpg caption=""]
David Morey, whose communication group - Core Strategy - gave advice to the 2008 Obama campaign, tells CNN that "simpler is better" and this White House needs to lead by controlling the dialogue.

It's pretty tough criticism for a candidate whose campaign was tightly run and almost always on message.

Recently - that doesn't seem to be the case. Take the wave of criticism Pres. Obama is facing since he weighed in on the plan to build a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero.

After making his initial comments in defense of the project on Friday, the President seemed to backtrack the next day... a White House spokesman felt the need to clarify those comments. And then today Mr. Obama told reporters he has "no regrets" about weighing in on the debate. I bet he does.

Maureen Dowd described Mr. Obama as an "incoherent president" in a recent New York Times column.... saying he's "with the banks, he's against the banks. He's leaving Afghanistan, he's staying in Afghanistan. He strains at being a populist, but his head is in the clouds."

The advice from Morey, the communications expert, is the president needs to sound less like a law professor.

Just a few years ago, critics often ridiculed former President George W. Bush for his mangled speech, mispronouncing words... or just plain making them up. But, Pres. Bush rarely had to backtrack on what he said because he kept it so simple and direct... ""bring 'em on" and "I'm the decider"... remember?

Here’s my question to you: Who sent the clearer message as president, George Bush or Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Andrew writes:
President Bush's message was clearer, but it oversimplified complex issues into an "us vs. them" mentality. Obama is approaching complicated issues with care and nuance, and although it is more difficult for Americans to understand his positions with small sound bites, it is a sign of intellectual maturity.

Vinny in Connecticut writes:
Although Pres. Bush is not a 'gifted' speaker, when he said something, it was plain, simple and he meant what he said. Obama always has 'mixed messages' and when he's off the ever-present Teleprompter, he puts his foot in his mouth over and over again as he stumbles and bumbles for the right words. When he says, "Let me be clear" you know that he's not going to be and only makes the American people more confused.

Kevin in Dallas writes:
I'm not sure, but I'm going to throw this out there. The fact that a news organization (other than you know who) is asking if Obama is better than Bush, in any regard, says something about Obama, and it's not good.

Brent in Cleveland, Ohio writes:
Bush was an idiot, but it was clear to all of us how stupid he was. No confusion there. Obama is a smart man, but he seems pretty wishy-washy and indecisive. This is reflected in his public statements AND the way he influences legislation in Congress. He wants everyone on both sides of an issue to like him and be happy, and that's not leadership, and that's not reality.

Steve in Clifton, Virginia writes:
In my opinion, George Bush sent a clearer message that he was in over his head and had an intellect deficit.

Ray writes:
Jack, Dubya's message was simpler; "Muslims = bad, USA = good." He stayed with that message through the majority of his tenure in the White House. Obama's message is much tougher as he's trying to fix everything the Republicans have done to this country over the past 30 years. Dubya might have had the clearer, if more mangled, message, but does that count if most of it was lies?

Ken in Maryland writes:
Bush sent the "simpler" message. The message was usually mangled and borderline incoherent, and I disagreed with it 99% of the time, but it was simpler.

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Jeff Clark

    President Obama has waffled a little too much with this particular issue. If he is going to interject his opinion into a discussion like this, he should have thought it through completely, and then stick by what he said. As to whether he is too professorial, I don't think he should dumb down his message; the rest of America needs to smarten up and learn to listen at a higher comprehension level, as well as learn to take anything any politician says with a grain of salt.
    Santa Clarita, California.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  2. Rick

    Pres Bush. He wasn't trying to deside what sounded the best. He said what He believed, is why He never had to back track, whether You agreed with him or not. Bush is an honest man who loves our country.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  3. LouAz

    Lou in Aridzona

    August 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  4. Becky

    How was President Obama's message incoherrent? He stated its a constitutional right, which it is. When questioned further, he stated that he wasn't sure it was a wise choice. Just because you have a right to do something does not equal whether it is wise to do so. I find it amusing that the very people in an uproar about 'inchoherrent comments' listen to the likes of Sarah make up words Palin and delusional Rush Limbaugh. I thought he was leaving the country? Healthcare is here, where is his passport?

    August 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  5. shawn

    We'll it's a shame that our current president has to dumb down his message for the "average" american to understand it, but Mr. Bush was elected on his "aw shucks" demeanor. Regardless us college educated people don't have much trouble understanding Obama and I don't see the mixed message. Just because he's working both sides of the isle to get things done isn't a mixed message. It's nice to hear someone speak like a human and I think he's consistent.

    When more then half of American's have trouble find the USA on a map or 75% think TARP was a Obama program...we are in trouble...but don't get angry because a smart guy is in the white house...doesn't matter if you lean right or left...the last few Dems in the big house have better IQs...

    August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  6. Bobbi

    If all you care about are WORDS, then "W" gets the point. But if you care more about someone intelligent, who thinks things through, and carefully weighs what he says before he says what he thinks, then President Obama gets the points. I'd rather have a President, any day, who THINKS... than one who just blusters because he can't think...

    August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  7. Glen from Williamstown, NJ

    Well nobody is going to accuse Bush of being well spoken, but we all knew exactly where he stood on the issues and he never had to backtrack as Obama has with the "Beer Summit", Shirley Sherrod controversy, or this mosque issue.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Helen Ham

    Just by CNN asking the question should let you know -of course George Bush was clearer, even with his "mangled speech" and "mispronounced words" YOU GOT THE MESSAGE!.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  9. Bill, Bloominton IL

    Jack, even if W's message was wrong, it was clear. I have to wait when president Obama speaks to see if he will backtrack on his comments later in the day or the next day.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  10. Rob in Brooklyn

    neither one actually

    August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Mike Miller

    Bush certainly sent the clearer message. It was just the dead wrong one.

    Stockbridge, MA

    August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  12. John Meade

    Are you kidding me Jack.

    This guy bloviates for the sake of bloviating. He is a ego maniac to be sure. He is so interested in his own place in history he denegrates our social, political and economical instituions every time he opens his mouth.

    "cops acted stupidly", supreme court taken to task in state of the union......health care deals for votes, supports the mosque at ground zero, "cling to their guns"...need I say more.

    Please accept this evidence that he is clearly the most incompetent man to oocupy the office of the presidency. He was and is inexperienced, unfit and completely impeachable.

    He will not last past his first term.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  13. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    Obama has a difficult time saying anything that can be misconstrued. There are more talking heads than there are Carter;s Little Liver Pills, most pandering to the school of "let's get the guy in the WH". I truly believe that if Obama said that he needed to go to the bathroom and did not go immediately he would be accused by the right wing fans of being a procrastinator. Nuff said.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  14. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Hey Jack, at least with Bush, if you had a second grade education, you could clearly understand him with all the single syllable nouns and verbs and stuff. But with Obama, forget it...you need a panel of interpreters to untangle whatever it is the Professor is flapping with his jaw. Graduate level calculus is easier to understand. Just recall when he went on the stump to sell his healthcare plan...talk about mass confusion. Dude is so incoherent, he's gonna go down in history as President Oblahblahblah.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Tom Austin Texas

    Barack Obama is a "light wieght " , who is in over his head. George Bush had a plan and he worked that plan.He backed up his retoric with action. Obama is all hat and no cattle.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Great NW

    Obama. No question. It's the news organizations who thrive on "controversy" and/or the right wingers who love their party more than their country who twist, spin, or downright lie about whatever the President says or does.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  17. John Lubeck

    The only thing clear about George Bush, is (A) that he had significantly sub average intelligence, (B) that he was massively incompetent and most importantly that (C) like all Republicans, he was a liar.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  18. Nodack

    I got Bush's message loud and clear. "We are America, we do whatever we want and we don't care who gets in our way". "Muslims attacked us on 9/11 therefore all Muslims are our enemy making Iraq fair game for invasion even though they had nothing to do with 9/11". "Since the terrorists aren't real people we don't have to treat them humanely or follow the Geneva Conventions".

    Obama is guilty of trying to make everybody happy which was the polar opposite of Bush. Bush could care less who he offended as evidence that the US lost all credibility and became the evil empire that everybody feared. I'm sure the GOP likes it that way, but I prefer to be the good guys that come to the aid of other nations instead of the bad guys that invade weak countries with oil just because we can.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  19. Rob

    Bush had a crystal clear message.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  20. Cathy

    Are you kidding? I have absolutely no idea what President Obama stands for. Agree or disagree, I never had to ask twice what President Bush stood for. Perhaps President Obama believes that since he is the president he no longer has to answer to the American people. His new campaign motto should be "Keep-em-confused." (So you can do whatever you want behind their backs...)

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  21. PK California

    Nothing Bush ever said was clear! He made it up as he went along using words like he was talking to a bunch of cowboys! He was a great improvisor! if he didn't have a written speech in front of him, nothing made sense.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  22. Big Luke--Albany,NY

    Definetly, and as someone who was completely Anti-Bush for most of his decisions it is laughable that im saying this.

    Obama likes to say things that sound great to whatever group is in front of him, only to realize he went against the grain of the public majority later.

    This latest debacle involving the Ground Zero mosque was only further proof. He sits at a dinner with a room full of Muslims and feels its a good time to address an issue he probably shouldnt have spoken on. Then he wakes up the next morning and sees that he offended 9/11 victims, provided great election year soundbites for the GOP, and even has his own party members scratching their heads.

    With Bush it was 'take it or leave it', and while i often disliked what i was hearing he definetly is the correct answer for your question Jack,

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  23. honest John in Vermont

    Bush definitely could mangle the English language and he was not a very good public speaker but–you definitely knew what he was saying–even if you disagreed. Obama in contrast talks too much and too often and flip-flops all over the place. I don't know which is worse?

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  24. Pat Sommerhalder

    There can be no comparison, because President Bush had no message. I still have not figured out how he managed to become president, much less how he was able to be reelected. But that, of course, had nothing to do with him but with those who voted for him. Yes, President Obama appears sometimes to make comments that are a bit confusing, but make no mistake: I would vote for him again in a New York minute, whereas a herd of wild buffalo could not make me vote for Mr. Bush.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  25. Scott Stodden

    Iam A Liberal Democrat Jack And I Voted For Obama In The General Election In 2008 Even Though I Supported Hillary In The Primaries! I Was Totally Against Everything President Bush Said Or Did But If I Were To Answer This Question Honestly I Would Have To Say That President Bush Sent A Clearer Message Than President Obama Is Doing, He Seems Lost On All Issues And I Believe He's Making Rash Decisions On Behalf Of The U.S. That May Not Be Good For The Country, At Least When George W Bush Said Something He Stuck To What He Said!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  26. Danram

    One thing about George Bush that I liked was that, unlike Barack Obama, he didn't try to be all things to all people. I often didn't agree with him and I think his managerial skills left a lot to be desired, but you never doubted where he stood on a particular issue.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  27. ken, nj

    Bush sent a clearer message. Obama changes with the wind, especially if a republican is blowing the wind. Obama is flip flopper.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  28. Claude

    The key word here is "simpler". Bush never said a sentence that had more than 3 syllables (My Pet Goat) (Nucular).

    August 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  29. dan sparks

    same message different accent....................

    August 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  30. Eric in California

    Substance aside, the two present an interesting comparison, although neither is great.

    Obama has long been noted as leaving everyone in the room thinking he takes their view, chiefly with the technique of taking both sides. His style and voice quality seem eloquent and thoughtful at first but the shifting substance is incoherent, as Maureen Dowd noted.

    On the other hand, it was always clear where Bush stood. Eloquence wasn't one's first impression. His diction and style were grating. Still, one always knew his position.

    Neither seems comfortable with extemporaneous speech. Both can accurately be accused of appearing as TelePrompTer bubbleheads, unfortunately, without the ease of some of their predecessors.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  31. Carlos in LA

    Of course the average GOP clown will sound "clearer", they have an army of pollsters and strategists hacking away at complex issues until they're reduced to simplistic soundbites. President Obama has a big brain that makes him look at all sides of an issue. It's ridiculous that he's being criticized for this.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  32. andyz

    Bush said what he was told to ssay. I believe Obama consults the psychic friends club for his inspiration. If Bush was pissed at you he'd bomb you. If Obama is pissed at you he'll change his position. Jack, this is a coin flip!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  33. Craig Perry

    People may not have liked George W.'s policies, but you always knew where he stood on an issue. He always had a consistent message and direction. Obama's message seems to change depending on who he wants to give him money.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  34. kjb666

    Bush's message is clear only because you could tell he was ready to sell the country down the road in order to make his friends happier, which, of course, made the rest of us unhappy.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  35. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    The only one that made it perfectly clear was Ronald Ragen which is where Obama stole the identity of Let Me Make It Perfectly Clear as far as a deed getting done Bush smokes Obama .

    August 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  36. Tracy

    I just had to respond to this question (this is my first time). How can u compare Pres. Obama to W. Bush? Just because u don't understand Pres. Obama and he does not adhere to your standards of voicing his comments on any subject, you hint that Bush was clearer and straight forward! PLEASE–There is no comparison. Pres. Obama is clear enough to me and W. Bush was clear enough to lead this country into a depression, recession, 2 wars (since W Bush stated that Sadam tried to KILL HIS DADDY he had to start that war in Iraq)! I can clearly understand W. Bush now because he has not said a word against Pres. Obama since leaving office–how much clearer can he get now! Please think about the questions u ask and give Pres. Obama a break since he has only been in office for about 18 months....We all had to deal with W. Bush for 8 years!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  37. nancy levinthal

    The answer, regardless of one's political leanings, is clear: George Bush stated his convictions and stood by them whether or not they were accepted by the general public. I admire him for his steadfastness in the face of Harry Reid who called him a liar or Nancy Pelosi who said he was incompetent. Presidents are to lead, they are not in power to win "Miss Congeniality" Nancy Levinthal (Houston and Belton, Texas)

    August 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  38. Steve Pet

    I can't believe my own answer but it's... George Bush. Our current leader just might be an idiot with a vocabulary. Illustrating the danger of putting people in high office who have no accomplishments outside of the world of academia.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  39. Shane

    Without a doubt, President Bush sent a clearer message as president because he kept it so very simple. I don't agree with any of his policies, but the average American who isn't following issues or news events the way enthusiasts like myself does is probably more comfortable with a simpler message that leaves out the details and caveats. In the age of Sarah Palin, unfortunately when someone like President Obama is speaking, the general public is lost. It's rather pathetic if you ask me.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  40. Charles Bonetto

    You must be kidding. Obama is an empty suit looking to promote his liberal agenda (on everyone else's money) He counted on everyone wanting to be politically correct, and afraid of the race card. He is totally worthless and I hope his group is greatly reduced in this November's elections.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  41. Robert

    Bush was infinitely more clear. After 911 there was absolutely no mistake where he stood and where he intended to lead the country. At the time most Americans agreed with him. As the years of war rolled on, many Americans lost faith in the mission and abandoned the cause. This was easy to do because we had no more terrorist incidents within the US after 911 and people's memories are notoriously short. But even when his popularity dropped Bush never wavered. Neither did his message.

    You may not agree with Bush, but at least you always knew exactly where he stood and exactly what his message was.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  42. Alton

    President Bush spoke his mind and did not need teleprompter's. Eloquence aside honesty and integrity will win every time. I could trust President Bush to do what he said he would, right or wrong. Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth trying to please whom ever he believes will become his biggest supporter.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  43. Herb Ripley

    President Obama's problem is that his IQ is so much higher than the average he does not always articulate at a level people understand. Take a look at his statement about the mosque. He said 2 things – 1) we as a nation do not discriminate against any religion and 2) nothing in the plan to build a mosque in lower manhatten is illegal. He absolutely did NOT endorse the plan and, in fact, the next day he pointed out that he did not think that it was wise. Again, he thought he was being perfectly clear when, in fact, too many people are insufficiently educated to understand him. The WH needs to remember that the average American has a 6th grade education, even if they do have a HS diploma.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  44. dick delson

    Obama on this issue might be incoherent, but George Bush is a moron who destroyed the economy of this country, committed us to a war in Iraq for oil money for he and his fathere.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  45. john

    You can say what you want to say about Bush but you always knew where he stood. Obama is a coward!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  46. Ron, Texas

    Asking if Bush or Obama has more clarity is like asking if I had rather die being shot by Bush or stabbed by Obama. I would prefer to choose neither, but being shot is quicker, so I think I take Bush on direct answers but with clarity hidden in the mire and murk of linguistic haze.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  47. Eric

    There is nothing incoherent about what Obama said if you actually *listen* to all of it. If one expects dumbed-down black-and-white sound bites that fit into an MTV attention span, then it might *sound* confusing, but it's quite clear.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  48. betty weidman

    george bush sent a clear message that he is an idiot.. obama sends the message that he is a law professor. we are the biggest idots of all, we elected the idot twice.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  49. Tiffany

    How could you possibly say that ANYTHING that Bush said was clear? I always got lost with Bush using his second grade vocabulary and texas/idiot slang. Surely you can remember the "Fool me once" blunder. As far as clear message regarding campaign promises/actions, I think Bush's message was always heard if not always understood; WAR! Obama knows that sometimes mommy and daddy need to have a talk and it's not something the kids need to hear while decisions are being made. There IS a bigger picture to issues like whether or not a religious building is put one place or another; Freedom. Obama has ALWAYS preached freedom to me and is why I support him and trust his decisions. It is America after all.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  50. Shelby Morrison

    There is no question who sent the clearest messages. Pres. George Bush didn't seem to be able to think and talk at the same time, so his messages were simple. Pres. Obama needs to prepare his messages remembering that the literacy level, and therefore comprehension level, of American adults is between the 6th and the 8th grade.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  51. betty

    jack , instead of long winded lectures, pres. bush got to the point and delivered. there is much buyers remorse with obama he can,t keep his foot out of his mouth. elequent my aunt fanny

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  52. Message was very clear

    I just can't understand what was not clear on Obama's message:
    He said it is legal for Muslims to build a mosque anywhere in the country.
    He also said he doesn't want to comment on the intelligence of the location.
    I totally agree: They have a right but they chose a bad location.

    It is very clear and i believe most of us agree with it.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  53. marion

    Bush may have been clearer because most liars know to keep it simple.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  54. Brian in CA

    Honestly, Jack, I'd have to call that a draw. Both Bush & Obama had ambiguous feelings when it came to issues like Iraq & healthcare reform. However, I must say that there's nothing wrong with Obama sounding like a law professor. He's supposed to be articulate like that, isn't he? Unlike our previous President, whose 'intelligence' was a joke to say the least...

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  55. Tom

    It's simple. Bush was a man of principle. Obama has no moral compass. By the way, we know what Bush's grades were. Why hasn't Obama published his?

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  56. pl

    President Obama, I certainly would like for my president to gather all information from all sides and then make his decision, instead of the shoot from the hip approach of the previous administration.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  57. Marcus

    The issues and problems our nation faces are far too nuanced to understand and communcate using catchy bumper-sticker slogans. Political leaders are too quick to turn a memorable phrase; even when they know it is misleading, or down right wrong. "Death Panels", "Anchor Babies", "ObamaCare"; all fit nicely in a twitter message, but only a twit would find these memorable but meaningless terms helpful. They only serve to rile emotions rather than enlighten the listener.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  58. Berwin

    I don't get what's so hard to understand about what the President said. Their right to build a Mosque is protected by the Constitution, although it is not a smart idea. That's what he said. It's pretty clear to me.

    Houston, TX

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  59. Angela Savage Austin

    No Contest!!! President Obama hands down. Also I understood his message about our constitutional rights regarding building the mosque...why does the media portray their viewers as being stupid? Just because President Obama does not expose his personal feelings or opinion on such matters, nor should he....does not mean he is flip-flopping. So many haters....so obvious!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  60. RK

    The world is complex, with many shadings and partial truths.
    Unfortunately, it seems that a large part of the populace prefers dummed down, nuance ignoring political talk.
    Bush played to this, and his message was simple, clear, and simplistic. It was about evil and good and that's all there was. But the world isn't really like that, and if one acts like it is, disaster, like the Iraq war, is the result.
    Obama, on the other hand is intelligent and is able to understand nuance.
    The extremists are trying to inflame the public's emotions with simplistic rhetoric and make Obama's intelligence seem a fault. But it's not a fault.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  61. Mike

    Bush's message was crystal clear even if it was the wrong message more times than not. Obama possesses a unique ability to play both sides against the middle, which is fine when you're campaigning, but not so fine when you're in power. He needs to make his message to the American people clearer, period.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  62. Mario

    Jack, you forgot Bush's clearest message, "Mission accomplished!" Unequivocally, President Obama is one of the brightest people to have occupied the White House. We are indeed fortunate to have him as the steward of our Constitution, values, freedom and treasure. Imagine (God forbid) what America would be like if Palin were running things!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  63. Mark Holstein

    George W may have not been a world class orator, but he was straight forward, to the point and honest. I'll take that over Obama any day.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  64. Claire, Melbourne FL

    What part of "they have every right to build there" isn't clear? Our Constitution enables this freedom of religion – it should apply to all. As for the wisdom of doing it – that's up to NY'ers. As a former NY'er I know they take everything in their stride – they're not the ones making a big deal of this....it's our "media" who can't let go – they're like a dog with a bone in his mouth and making sure the Republican's opposition is duly noted.... know what- who cares what the R's think – it's always NO so let it go and it will disappear. They'll find another problem to rant about.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  65. adam

    The question of clarity is obvious to me. We had one president speak with conviction and accept responsibility for his failures. We have another speak in a perpetual condescending tone that continues to blame someone else. I will always take a President with the gift to lead (Bush) over a president with the gift of oration (Obama).

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  66. Stephen In PA

    Obama never said 'Mission Accomplished'. That's enough for me.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  67. C.E. Family - Austin, TX

    So now you want to chastise President Obama for being smarter than Bush. That is the problem with our country; everything has to be “dummied down” so the average person on the street can under it. Our nation is truly turning (at a fast pace) into the movie, “Idiocracy”.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  68. Bob in SC

    Clearly, pun intended, GW. He was about substance whereas President O. is all about style. I'll take substance every time.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  69. Sam O'Shaughnessy Stangl

    Bush put his country first ; his faith / religion second and his
    interests / friends third

    Obama is putting his friends / interests first ; His faith/ culture( Islam )
    second and his country third.

    One just needs to watch all the media and not just " right " or " left " to see this

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  70. Mike (Dallas)

    I agree with Obama, but he should have used shorter sentences. Muslims have the right to build their mosque near ground zero, just as I have the right to walk down a street in Dallas yelling "Republicans are warmongers". Neither action would be smart though. The 'warmongers' would jump all over me.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  71. Amarissa

    Bush did whatever he said he would do regardless of his poll ratings. For better or worse, we knew where he stood on issues.
    Obama is a flip flopper who goes with the flow and reads whatever they program in his prompter. When he ad lib's, he stumbles and takes hours to answer a simple question.
    The people got what they voted for, an inexperienced politician who likes to hear himself speak in front of his fans.
    Can't wait for "Change" this November and later in 2012. This is my biggest "Hope"

    Miami, Fla

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  72. Augustine

    I don't think the president's problem is incoherence, as a matter of fact I don't think he has a problem at all. We as a nation just have to understand that there are no clear cut answers to many of the problems we face and that is what our president tries to communicate to us.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  73. jean

    obama does.he says what he means and means what he

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  74. JD

    Obama = All sizzle, no steak

    Bush = All cattle no hat

    They were both poor choices, As much as I hate to say it, Hillary for President.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  75. ivan in Texas

    Most definitely Bush, but the American people was not smart enough to look at the long term effect. But when it comes to racist, Obama is sending a clearer message. The GOP is constantly being taken off message. The rest of the American people (unemployed Americans) do not care about the Mosque. We only care about the economic that the Bush Administration screwed up.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  76. Elizabeth

    Most certainly Obama gives a clearer message!
    Even without speaking he gets much out of being present.

    Any question to his clarity are from people that have asked all to speak English (yep, that group ) yet when it is spoken with clarity claim not to understand. Therefore, putting a spin on anything he says.

    Folks claiming to misunderstand have another very confused agenda & it seems to work for the uninformed that are filled with hate of a man they just can't believe is President!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  77. Rob

    It's very clear that Obama speaks much clearer than Bush. I remember bush saying "Your either with us or against us". What does this mean?
    Or Bush saying "were gunna smoke em out", very vague.

    It's a true shame that these days Barrack Obama has trouble communicating with the Good Ole Boy crowed who never went to school to learn Standard American English. I believe this is a sign of the times of poor education in English language in the school system for the past 40 years.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  78. Jack Delaney

    Unintelligent messages, which were usually "clearly" stupid(Bush) don't overcome intelligent messages that do require a somewhat better understanding of English to be clear!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  79. Nancy, Tennessee

    As a kid we told someone to take it back if they said something we didn't like. President Obama plays that game with us when the backlash from his statements get his attention. The Islamic leaders who heard him say that he approved of the mosque in lower Manhattan were pleased. Two-thirds of Americans were not amused. He attempted to take it back, but it is fodder for the members of the Republican party who are looking for reasons to shun the Democrats in November. President Obama didn't do the Democratic Party any favors. Then on the other hand some of President Bushes statements did help the Democrats – like the premature statement of "mission accomplished". Both have made their share of blunders.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  80. John Hartman

    I am one of the 30%. President Buush made plenty of mistakes, However he was not afraid to lead. President Obama seems to be trapped in his idealogical minefield. He endless ly tangles himself in issues that are unpresidential. As a result his party will take a big hit in the fall.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  81. Patty in Missouri

    Does anyone REMEMBER how Bush spoke? He didn't make anything clear. I'm shocked that that is even a question.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  82. Rick Jennings

    When your plan is to give everyone everything they want, you should realize and consider that in doing so there are probably a lot more people that didn't want what someone else did. That is obviously what is happening here.

    It all goes back to not being able to making all the people happy all the time. The great thing about Bush was he didn't really promise to fulfill everyone's wants and was not always trying to be political in every statement. What you saw, and what you think he said (or at least what we THOUGHT he said, is what you got.

    Rick in Tennessee

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  83. John

    in my opinion President Bush was more a what you see is what you get in his messages and you pretty knew what to expect of him.
    he stood by his principles.
    with president obama you dont where his messages are going
    or if he really means them or chooses them based on the situation.
    john from florida

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  84. Cliff Reithel

    President Bush saw many issues in black and white and appeared to present a clear message. President Obama sees the complexities of the issues that Americans face, thus his remarks present to Americans the the many things we need to consider.
    Americans need to be mindful that not all issues are simple and not all things are fixed in the time it takes for a sound bite to appear on our " news ".

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  85. Ruby Zimmerman

    Surely, you jest! Comparing Bush and Obama is like comparing a Stone Age man with Einstein.

    Champaign, IL

    August 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  86. Christian

    I think you give the American people too little credit. I for one i am not confused by what President Obama is saying... He's also tackled more complex issues on the campaign trail.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  87. Chris Campbell

    Port Huron, MI.

    In the debate over which was a better president, each has their own merit. Obama has the clear, precise speech to convince the people he's in the room with at the time that he's doing whats best for them, but Bush had the decisiveness to do what needed to be done during a hard time in American history – sure it made him a few enemies along the way, but those who were on his side were backing him even further, because of his actions.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  88. Sarah

    You know Jack – President Obama thinks like most of us. We are dimensional , BUT, I would expect someone as simple minded as you Jack, and Maureen Dowd – to not understand Obama.
    I, on the other hand, understand Obama quite clearly.
    Obama says he hates the bad behaviour of the big banks, as all of us do. But of course we all know that GOOD banks are essential to the functioning of the economy .
    Obama also says that he will send more troops to improve the situation in Afghanistan – But like most of us, he does not want to keep the troops in forever, and is sending Afghanistan a clear message, get your act together, because we are not going to keep out troops in your country forever!

    Quite simply to understand Jack!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  89. Roger Perreault

    bush was not one of our best spoken presidents , but at least he showed some courage in his stances ! this president tries to play both sides and in the end he looks like whimpish and believe me our adversarys around the world are watching !!!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  90. Eric

    Say what you want about Bush, the man did not mince words, even if he did mangle them on the delivery.

    You know Obama is about to lie when he says:
    "Let me be clear..."
    "Make no mistake..."
    "We will not rest..."

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  91. common sense in Texas

    Bush was more clear. He didn't have all these blasted 'czars' yammering in his ear.

    Wimberley, TX

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  92. James Garrett

    Bush would always give you a straight and honest answer, not one that was politically driven! And he would never say that a question or issue "was above my pay grade."

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  93. Jim - Michigan


    People have a lot to complain about Bush, but there is no question that he said what he meant, governed to his beliefs and stuck with it. Bush could have had a better image had he caved to the polls, did an about face when the war was not going well but as the commander in chief he made a decision and stuck with it. When you are a leader, there is nothing more important then being consistent. Bush may not have been the best president but he has my respect for sticking to his beliefs and not pandering for a vote.

    Obama's position changes depending on the group he is speaking with and his beliefs change with an opportunity to gaina vote. I voted for Obama believing he was different and had our country's best interest at heart – I was wrong.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  94. Darren Johnson

    George W. was much clearer than Obama. Clearly WRONG. In our complicated world it may be tempting to oversimplify things. Mission Accomplished? Not so fast... If someone contemplates our problems more deeply, they are in danger of being misunderstood.

    Darren in Fairbanks, Alaska

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  95. Kathy in Franklin, TN

    While we didn't always agree with Mr. Bush, we always knew exactly where he stood.

    President Obama doesn't seem capable of taking a stance without backpedaling within a short period of time. If he had been this indecisive during his campaign, I doubt he would be President today.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  96. John

    Without a doubt.... George Bush. He understood the issues and clearly communicated his belief; albeit he occasionally mispronounced or misused words. Mr. Obama sways with the wind and carefully parses each sentences leading his audience asking the question - 'what did he say or mean"

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  97. Cecilia

    President Obama is an extremely intelligent and intellectual man who is able to understand the complexity and delicacy of situations he encounters. I for one am reassured by this and felt far less confident about Bush who painted the world with a very broad brush, using mostly primary colors. What's more our current President demonstrates his respect for the citizens of this country by not "dumbing down" his message for the sake of political ease. Thank you Mr. President. I salute you and I think you're doing a fine job.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  98. Ed

    They both are unclear. Obama's waffling is getting a bit too much. Bush, we never understood what he was saying in the first place.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  99. Joe

    There's not much comparison. Obama’s speech suggests neural activity!

    Joe – Massachusetts

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  100. Albert in New York

    If you have more than one functioning braincell, it's Obama.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  101. Wilson James

    "Mission Accomplished" .......'nuff said.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  102. Linda in Arizona

    Clearer message? Bush, without a doubt. Not that I liked what he said, mind you, but he was very clear. Obama vacillates, dilly dallies, and tries to please everyone. He says one thing and later does the opposite. It's maddening.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  103. Michael Gonzales

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Bush was alot clearer, He was a straight shooter who didnt like beating around the bush. Obama has never left the campaign trail and still worries too much about Polls or the next election.
    Bush was alot simpler and didnt think things thru and Obama is a Intellectual who over thinks any issue too death.

    New Mexico

    August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  104. Bill Sims

    Many in this country confuse wisdom with education. And communication is judged by one's ability to maximize the use of the most complex vocabulary in the kings language as opposed to truly expressing a thought, fact or idea in such a way the masses understand it. George Bush was by far the better communicator!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  105. republicans hate america

    Bush's message was clear because like him many Americans share his kindergarten brain.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  106. marcus from detroit

    as a child, "yes" and "no" meant exactly that at that given moment in time. you adjusted your actions on these simple responses and moved on with your life. as an adult, i'm still waiting for the "maybes", the "perhaps" and the "depends" to come to fruition, like "will i go to heaven?", "do animals dream?" or "will obama get a backbone and make changes like he promised?" i guess you can say bush put us in touch with our inner child.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  107. Bob

    President Obama's message was clear – any religion or faith has the constitutional right within the local codes to build a facility, though they should be sensitive to people's feelings. The Republicans are just trying to play politics. If certain people can't figure that out – or Obama's message – then take a refresher course in reading and comprehension as well as government and politics.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  108. Jack, Tennessee

    Obama sends the clearer message, if you are able to reason as a mature adult and read above the 9th grade level; else, Bush is your boy.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  109. Pmr

    I did not care for his decisions but W.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  110. Math NJ

    Bush was embarrassing to listen too, but there was never any doubt where he stood. Obama's a pleasure to listen too, but there's no processing his words. He must use a special lexicon of terms with double or no meaning.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  111. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Republican 'noise' is making the Obama Administration 'sound' incoherent. Bush never had a clue about anything. Obama is on message, but the news media is NOT listening.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  112. chris, dayton OH

    Bush sent out a definite message. It was this:
    "I don't care about the constitution, I don't care about your rights. I'm going to start a war to make my rich friends richer and I'm going to fill up the industrial military complex with blood from the poorer classes to help make it happen."
    That pretty much sums up 8 years.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  113. Fred IV

    Excellent comparison to the law professor. Obama tries to hard to never be wrong, to never be caught taking sides, to never commit to a side to soon, and consistently fails to speak up when he should in a timely fashion. Waiting days or more to weigh in issues, such as a shooting on a military base, the oil spill, among many more, does not make him look carefully considered. It makes him look uncertain of where he stands and what his intentions are.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  114. Chris (tampa, fl)

    Bush's message was clearer, but it was never the right message.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  115. Eric

    By the way, why in the hell are we still talking about George Bush? He's been out of office nearly two years. HE. DOES. NOT. EXIST. ANYMORE.

    Real men don't whine about their predecessors.

    They take responsibility. They pick up the ball where it lies and they run with it, taking hits along the way... knowing full well if they score a touchdown it is on their own merits, and at worst if they fail, they know it is because of their own shortcomings and take responsibility accordingly.

    Blaming your precessor is a sign of immaturity and sadly this president does so on a daily basis.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  116. Jack

    Certainly it was clearer. Obama has to be very careful what he says given that his real agenda. He gets confused sometimes trying to project a moderate image rather than his truthful socialistic self.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  117. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Obama. At least his messages are WAY more coherent than Bush!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  118. Rob

    Obama needs to stay off TV, and do his job with out the entire world knowing what he is doing.
    He needs to stop being so public!
    He comments on issues which he should not. Did he not know that most americans are against this mosque? So he must support it??
    I dont know, I think american politics are better kept quiet.

    Staten Island, ny

    August 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  119. Wicked_V

    Obama delivers a speech better, but his message is absolutely incoherent. Bush was not nearly as well spoken, however at least people knew exactly where they stood with Bush.

    We might not have all liked his policies, but we knew what we as a nation were doing and why. Obama appears to say one thing to the camera's (whatever is the popular opinion) then deliver the opposite (whatever is most heavily lobbied for?). In the case of the mosque, he just couldn't make up his mind as to what it was people wanted him to say...

    Dallas, TX

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  120. Jeff

    I don't understand why this is even being debated. Was Obama not crystal clear that the mosque has the legal right to be built but may not be in good taste?

    An ignorant American public should not blame an orator for their lack of understanding.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  121. Jim

    President Bush spoke like an everyday person. He did not worry about what sounded good. Obama can't speak on any subject without a Telepromter. When he does he makes big mistakes and sound like an idiot. Bush is hands down the best speaker. Obama is a lier on almost everything. He speaks like he thinks he is smarter than everyone else. In reality the AMerican Citizens are a lot smarter than him. A colleage education does not make you educated and he is the best example of that.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  122. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Maybe Obama is having troubles separating his family from his job maybe he cant swing it . you cant spend all your time on vacation and take care of your job Obama you need to lock your door and attend to things at hand .

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  123. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    There is no doubt that it is Obama who has sent us clearer message so far. Bush never had any messages to send. All we got from Bush was mess-for-ages !
    (Mess up with our system so bad that it cannot be corrected for ages)

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  124. chris Omu

    That majority of Americans were confused with a simple and straight point President made on the Mosque issue shows how the average American IQ has fallen....it is a simple matter.....Obama simply said that for as long as the law was concerned, the builders have absolute right. Why is this too difficult to understand. Even the poll by CNN supports Obamas position

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  125. Eugenio M. Albano

    Jack, Bush sent a clearer message and did it without dividing the country.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  126. tom c

    i don't think that obama backtracked on hes comments on friday.all he did was reenforce what he said,that the muslims have the right to biuld their moscue were ever they like as long as it gets town or city abovel.
    if you read the first amendment its prettyy clear.
    besides i don't feel that the government in DC has any say in the matter at all!!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  127. Cindy from NV

    President Obama. Just because a message has nuance and more than 5 words does not make it unclear. He treats the American public like thinking adults, not like children with ADD.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  128. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    George W. Bush was certainly more clear in his SIMPLE messages. He was incompetent. Sadly, you are not underestimating the ability of many Americans when you imply that they fail to understand complex messages. Life is made of complex messages. That's why we depend on skilled, learned diplomats (and Hilary Clinton) in forming foreign policy. That is why so few people earn a PhD. So few people are capable of handing the complexities that life offers so they rely upon simple, direct messengers to do their thinking for them. Needless to say, the people most likely to benefit from simple, direct messages are already misinformed by FOX News. Could Obama be more direct? Probably so, but it is not in his nature. Could Bush have been more complex? Probably not, it is not in his nature. I'd rather have a complex law professor at the helm running the nation than simple minded and direct George Bush, Joe Six Pack, or Sarah Palin.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  129. Susie

    I don't know what else is expected from President Obama. He defended our rights under the constitution and has no regrets. Our constitution is supposed to be for all Americans so I wouldn't expect him to have regrets for his position. If anything, he is doing the admirable thing in "not" trying to politicize the issue! Duh! America wake up! Give our President the time and support he needs to lead this country out of the troubles and disaster of the previous administration.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  130. Clay


    What message was that, Jack? You're either for us or against us? Bush's wars have killed more Muslims than anyone since the Crusades. Bush's message to the Moslem world was clear alright: "Hi, we're America. Better duck."

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  131. Aubrie

    I'm just waiting for lame duck..... they say a ducks quack doesn't echo.... Let's wait and see.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  132. hillcrester

    Yeah, Bush said "I am a 100% idiot." Period. End of Message. Very clear.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  133. Chip Davis

    The simplest answer is usually the right answer. Obamas nuanced complexity apparently makes some people feel better however most issues are black and white. Right is always right and wrong is always wrong, Bush's style was refreshing.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  134. ZionMari


    Clearly President Obama is more wise, intelligent and speaks with grace....... and pronounces the English language well!

    President Obama is a Constitutional Law professor, I believe he knows a thing or two about the Constitutional Freedom afforded to Americans.

    Obama was courageous to speak up for the Freedoms of Muslim Americans! Once upon a time, in Germany a religious group's freedom was taken away........ it started as prejudice & fear and ended in the Holocaust!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  135. Ken Kosby

    Jack...When "Keep Americans working", "Improve the transportation system", "The Middle-Class must be provided for", " Lower taxes for the working people", and "Let's end the conflict" are part of the message, it seems like a stagnant smoke screen that never dissipates, and thus, makes both Presidents equal in their ability to maintain a multi-faced agenda for the American people.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  136. Zeba

    Jack – how can you ask such a question???? Bush could barely formulate a grammatically correct sentence....how could he then deliver a coherent message?? Pres. Obama's message is clear....every citizen of this nation has the right to practice its religion freely. What is so unclear about that?

    August 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  137. Tristan

    It is very hard to communicate difficult problems to a poorly educated population.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  138. Marilyn

    Bush spoke words of hate – easy to understand. Obama speaks words of cooperation. A little more difficult language to speak. It is like comparing a two year old's conversation skills to an adult. Everyone understands a child – you have to grow up to understand another adult.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  139. Jim

    I'm a Democrat but I have to admit I never was left wondering where Bush stood on things. With Obama you need to wait a week or two for it to be vetted out through Gibbs and the media before we find out what he meant when he said what he did.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  140. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Apparently nobody listed to Bush's message of tolerance after the attacks back in 2001, because we've had nothing but constant demagoguery towards Muslims in this country.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  141. Michael

    Bush, right or wrong, was always clear on his position. Obama flips more than a binary counter. I still don't know where he stands on anything.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  142. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    George Bush's messages were much clearer for sure, so much that we were hated around the world. President Obama has made some tough and unfavorable decisions during his brief presidency but his message is clear, the Republicans won't work with him to help the American people.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  143. ramiro

    Bush did even tough i never agreed with him on almost anything
    Obama just talks

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  144. ernie tulsa

    When asked, Bush would tell you your butt looked big in that dress. He didn't mean it in a mean way, it is just how it was. Chances are that you would not wear that dress again. Obama would deny that he has ever looked at your butt, then send you to a counselor to address your obsession with your butt, then have a beer summitt to discuss everyones right under the constitution to have a big butt. In the mean time you are walking around wearing a dress that makes your butt look big. From men everywhere, thank you George.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  145. Bruce

    Neither; It s the same convoluted message with exactly the same policies.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  146. Gabriel Walsh

    The reason some perceive President Bush's messages as clearer is not so much the messenger but the topics. It was pretty easy to be clear when the message was just "Terror is Bad". Unfortunately, it's a lot more difficult to be clear when you have to actually balance the nuances of protecting the Country, the Constitution, and the People.

    It may be clear to some that President Bush had a "better" message, but it is clear to me that President Obama is the better president.

    I hope that clears things up!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  147. Lisa F. Dzis

    President Obama should not have put his foot in his mouth on this issue, but his bad judgement and incoherence are inconsequential beside most of President Bush's colossal and fatal blunders. When he said " Bring it on.",(not bring 'em on", I heard the Commander in Chief invite every homicidal fanatic in the Middle East to open fire on our troops. His cleanup crew spun this irresponsible remark into a show of support for our troops, but a few people in the military were as displeased as I was and weren't afraid to say so, dangerous as it was at the time to dare any criticism of Mr. Bush. George Bush was a very bad president in many ways and I would hate to see him complemented for anything, least of all the clarity of his message. Simplicity of expression has enabled the revisionist history that "everyone in the world" believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, as I heard the Ambassador of Pakistan parrot on CNN only last week. Do you remember how the Bush administration brainwashed the multitudes who weren't paying attention to the truth with "smoking gun", "mushroom cloud", and Mission Accomplished"? Mr. Bush did this country no favors with his sound- bite style of communicating.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  148. Allen in Savannah, GA

    G.W. may not have been articulate in his speeches, but as others have noted, you knew where he stood and he didn't backtrack or change his stance to appease those he was speaking to. No one had to explain what he said or tell you his position on a subject after he spoke. He also promptly followed through with his commitments.

    B.O., on the other hand, is very articulate, can read his speeches flawlessly and is an impressive speaker. However, his speeches are custom made for his audience and his position seems to change based on who he is addressing. For days after his comments, people are wondering what his position on a subject really is. Also, when he makes a commitment, it seems to take forever before any action taken. (ie. help in the gulf, help with border security, etc.)

    August 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  149. Carol

    Obama is clearer. I don't understand why anyone is objecting to what he said on the mosque issue. He stated it is a constitutional right and of course it is. If anyone argues with that then they don't know the reason this country was founded on. He stated he didn't know if it was a wise choice which is what everyone in this country is saying. Where is the incoherent speak? Bush couldn't speak in proper english and didn't have a coherent thought in his head.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  150. Tess Storch

    George W. Bush's message to the American People was clear to the American People, Republicans and Democrats alike. He did not care what we thought of his administration and his failed policies regarding the war, the economy, social security and education. Sure they were clearly defined. And simplistic. And, mostly, uninspired. Obama, if he is at fault, is too much OF the people. His mistake may be underestimating the understanding of the American people. He is still new to this and, while he may not be so handy at dodging these non-issues, where it counts he has been up-front and hard working, and that's all that really counts. So give hime a C for clarity.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  151. Andy

    Depends on what the issue was. On some things, GWB was clear and direct. On other things, like the justification for war in Iraq, he was a shape shifter.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  152. Timothy Hugee

    Well! George Bush mangled speech get us into two wars in the Mid-East, can we say the beginning of "Armageddon"...And two trillion dollars in war cost to come. Oh! Yes I will take the flip-flopper President Obama intelligent speech everyday!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  153. Bryan Marabanian

    George Bush is arguably the most concise of all American Presidents. Then again, a person with a low IQ tends to have difficulty finding words to articulate thoughts. Our major concern should with Obama's inability to stop talking out of both sides of his face.

    Mr. President, say what you mean, mean what you say and stop having your political guard-dogs "clarify" your statements every time you say something the general public doesn't want to hear. Americans deserve a president who acts with integrity at all times...even when your comments have an impact on your own political survival.

    Bryan Marabanian
    Evanston, Illinois

    August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  154. Jim Little

    Bush: He said what he believed so he did not have to backtrack after wettting his finger and sticking it up in the air.
    Jim from OBX

    August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  155. tod Jones

    I could care less about the clarity of the message, I'm more concerned about the actions. Both disappoint me in their corporate welfare militarism.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  156. Ted

    Please remember..Obama only reads speaches,he never writes them. He is reading what someone else writes. He is NOT the smart one ,his speach writers are. If he is so smart why can't we see his grades in collage. What is he hiding...

    August 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  157. Becker

    Bush kept more on message and I think that is from experience he knew not to deviate. Bush and Obama are both very smart but only Obama is a great Orator. I think Obama is so gifted and confident he drifts off his written message. Bush worked harder to placate others and Obama has been more divisive in his speeches and his manner which has hurt him. It makes him seem less willing to negotiate.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  158. Tess Storch

    George W. Bush's message was clear to the American people, Republicans and Democrats alike. He did not care what we thought of his administration and his failed policies regarding the war, the economy, social security and education. Sure they were clearly defined. And simplistic. And, mostly, uninspired. Obama, if he is at fault, is too much OF the people. His mistake may be underestimating the understanding of the American people. He is still new to this and, while he may not be so handy at dodging these non-issues, where it counts he has been up-front and hard working, and that's all that really counts. So give hime a C for clarity.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  159. Bob

    I voted for President Obama because he was able to clearly articulate his message and proposed programs. Since being elected, he has been unable to clearly articulate anything! You get a sense that his administration is oblivious to the tone and tenor of the country.

    George W. on the other hand never backtracked on what he said. But let's face it, that's only because he couldn't remember what he said.

    The last 4 presidents have been major disappointments. I long for the clarity and direction provided by Ronald Reagan.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  160. Irwin

    GW sent the clearer on, though often a more simplistic, stupid message, but consistent with his child-like world view. Obama needs to not react to every criticism, by walking back from his original comment! He most definitely IS incoherent. He wants it both ways, but that's not leadership. He should have simply said, 'The Muslims have a right to build wherever it's legal, and that's that. Ask them why they're so insensitive!'

    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  161. John

    President Bush was a liar. Clear or not , he lied on a regular basis. He knew where the WMD"S where may be a clear message but it was a lie.

    If republicans are to stupid to follow along with Obama because he does not talk to you like you are three years old then there is your problem.

    The right is a total fraud these days and the entire premise is nothing but their attempt to constantly attack the president on things that only exist in their heads.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  162. kathy from phx,az

    President Obama does deliver a very clear message. It is the people (republicans who don't get it.) They are the ones that are incoherent!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  163. Steve In California

    The issue isn't whether the message is clear. The issue is whether people have the attention span to understand it. Obama has made it quite clear what his position is. The problem is that what he has said can't really be dumbed down to sound bites. He is an extremely well-educated and well-spoken man. Those who are neither of those find his message confusing.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  164. David

    Bush's message was consistent and driven by his moral barometer. Obama's message is inconsistent and "restated" when politics dictate.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  165. Margarita

    It's very easy to sound consistent when you see the everything in terms of right or wrong, black or white. The more intelligent the person, the more nuanced their thinking process becomes, and the more they realize that there are things that we may not like but because they are not illegal, we have to accept them. Bush looked like he had a clear message because he saw things simplistically, and would not change his mind even when they blew up on his face. Just look at the Iraq war mission - it went from looking for weapons of mass destruction, to finding Saddam Hussein, to spreading democracy. If that's not changing course, i don't know what it!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  166. Mark from Boston


    Bush, of course. Very few of us knew Obama was a Trojan Horse.
    He rode in on his high horse and strapped on a trojan... and the rest is a painful history.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  167. Archie Ferguson

    President obama is clear on what he says, I think he is being logical as a President is suppose to be, he may not even agree but must say and stay on the side of the law, the media and others slant his remarks to their advantage for various purposes. Can you guess what the advantages are? Also, can you begin to image the outcome had he said, as a black president, he opposed this sensitive issue; the Republicans for one would have a field day on the "other side". Remember, he hasn't been able to say anything because he is in an position weightd by all sides, political, racial and intellectual, etc.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  168. Kyle in NYC

    One additional comment here. I find it quite amusing how short the average Bush supporter's memory really is. I mean seriously Bush didn't use a teleprompter??? Bush didn't divide the country??? REALLY???? I guess the thrown out votes of the 2000 elections, and the 51% to 49% margin of "victory" (TWICE as in the #2) wasn't a division of the country, but then again I can actually understand every day English so I guess I'm confused about what was really going on during the Bush debacle. If we bring in another president like George W. Bush, I'll be praying for immigration reform in Ireland.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  169. EFlagg

    Bush never thought past the moment to consider any complexities or the long term effects of his actions remember..."WMD's"..."Mission Accomplished" and more recently the perils were ALL suffering as a clear result of his Economic policies....It seems these clear messages were pretty dumbed down and left no room for backtracking....

    August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  170. No Way

    Bush? A clearer message? LOL

    He barely had a command of the English language. Nevermind a clear coherent delivery.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  171. Joe - Utah

    If you are a moral, honest, truthful man like Bush who loves America and did everything he could to help the country, it is very easy to understand his message. But if you are the exact oppose (i.e. immoral, dishonest, untruthful man who hates America and wants to destroy it) it is not always so easy to understand the message being sent. Because Obama is so incredibly skillful at lying and deceit many people were misled. Fortunately, those poor souls who voted for him are beginning to awake and Obama's message is becoming clearer and clearer to them.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm |