Olbermann: Worst President Ever?

Dean and Olbermann discuss a presidency in decline... Video right, transcript below:

OLBERMANN: For more on where the president's current stance places him, currently and historically, let's call in Nixon White House counsel John Dean, author of the books "Worse Than Watergate," "The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," and, of course, "Conservatives Without Conscience."

John, good evening.


OLBERMANN: Let me start with this overall assessment. Between that opinion number, 27 percent approval on handling Iraq, to the speech by the Republican Senator Smith from Oregon [VIDEO], is this presidential administration in peril, not from impeachment, necessarily, but from some sort of internal revolution within the Republican ranks?

DEAN: Well, they--Bush did a wonderful job of dragging them down in the election that I'm sure they have not forgotten.

Keith, a president rules most powerfully with his bully pulpit. This president has never been very good at that. He's obviously got new plans in the works. He's going to have to go out and sell them. I'm told he's pretty good one on one. He may well be able to keep his party people in line.

But if he doesn't have something new to say to them, something that they believe and can buy into, and then they can, in turn, go out and sell it at home, he is in trouble.

So we'll have to wait and see what his review comes up with. But I think he's got to realize, given the aftermath of the election, he's in trouble.

OLBERMANN: But so far, he hasn't realized it. There hasn't been anything new. And about Iraq, do we attribute that kind ostrich-like stance from the president, and what we heard from the defense secretary in his kind of parting shot today, does this all tie into that prescient remark that you made before the election, that even if the Republicans lost control of both the House and the Senate, Karl Rove and the others in the White House would view that setback as nothing more than a temporary phase? Is that--could they still be believing this is a temporary phase politically?

DEAN: I suspect they do. If you look at what kind of president Bush is--and I did this actually back in 2004, in April of 2004, and again in May of 2006, drawing on the very classic analysis by James David Barber, who puts presidents into various schools and categories, and he said this president would fit, on his criteria, into an active negative.

Those are people like...


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