Yes, ladies, he's single.
Aw, who'm I kidding? I love to ruin Karl Rove's day. I would ruin every single one of Karl Rove's days if I could. If I saw a position advertised on Monster.com for "Chief Day-Ruiner to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff," I would submit my application to that position with a résumé, a DVD, and about 100 references, and I'd call every damn day just to see if there was anything additional they'd like me to send. And I can't promise you I wouldn't offer to blow the HR person who interviewed me.
Here's what Unka Karl had to say today about George W. Bush's approval ratings, which were last seen limboing comfortably underneath a snake's belly:
Presidential adviser Karl Rove blamed the war in Iraq on Monday for dragging down President Bush's job approval ratings in public opinion polls. "People like this president," Rove said. "They're just sour right now on the war."
Rove said that Bush's likeability ratings are far higher than his approval ratings. "There is a disconnect" because of the Iraq conflict, Rove told the American Enterprise Institute. (my emphasis)
To paraphrase a much better blog than this one . . . sadly, no! (Or if you're Melissa Theuriau and you're reading this, Tristement, non!)
Here you can find Bush's approval ratings as gauged by just about every such poll that's been taken since last September. And here you can find recent data on Bush's personal favorability ratings -- which, as Rove points out in what may be the one truthful thing he's said since he first got Bush elected, are distinct from approval ratings.
CBS News/New York Times Poll. May 4-8, 2006. 1,241 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
Overall job rating: Approve 35%; disapprove 59%; unsure 6%
Personal opinion: Favorable 29%; unfavorable 55%; undecided/not sure 3%
Aieee . . . a likeability rating even lower than his job approval rating? Why, that isn't what Karl told us at all!
USA Today/Gallup Poll. April 28-30, 2006. 1,011 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
Overall job rating: Approve 34%; disapprove 63%; unsure 3%
Personal opinion: Favorable 39%; unfavorable 60%; undecided/not sure 1%
OK, that likeability rating was higher than the approval rating, but far higher? Not quite -- not that I think Karl'd be bragging about 39% regardless.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). April 21-24, 2006. 1,005 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.
Overall job rating: Approve 36%; disapprove 57%; unsure 7%
Personal opinion: Very/somewhat positive 39%; somewhat/very negative 52%; undecided/neutral 9%
Again, we're talking margin-of-error difference between the approval rating and likeability rating here. One more:
CNN Poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation. April 21-23, 2006. 1,012 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
Overall job rating: Approve 32%; disapprove 60%; unsure 8%
Personal opinion: Favorable 40%; unfavorable 57%; unsure 2%
So even in the one recent poll in which Bush's favorability rating exceeds his approval rating by a difference too big to be negated by simple MoE, he's got an unfavorable rating of 57%, nearly three people in five. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Rove's declaration, in other words.
If that doesn't convince you, you can also go here to find out how many people think phrases like "honest and trustworthy" and "understands/cares about the problems of people like you" describe Bush. In each case, the numbers are either barely breaking into the 40s or relaxing comfortably in the 30s.
And here's a killer for all y'all hard-core right-wingers who insist that Bill Clinton's beejer from Monica Lewinsky is the root cause of September 11, high gas prices, and every other bad thing that's happened in the last six years: According to one poll, people even think Clinton was more honest than Bush.
Yikes, Karl. Keep your head down when you go visit Patrick Fitzgerald, m'kay?
ADDED: Wow, I didn't even have Rove's full comments. But Think Progress (link via Atrios) did, and they quote Rove as insisting that, according to the RNC, Bush's personal approval ratings are actually in the 60s. Well, I'm sure you can trust those numbers -- because the GOP has never been even remotely dishonest about anything, right?