In the wake of Barack Obama's historic presidential election, it's difficult not to acknowledge his predecessor George W. Bush's precipitous fall from that very position of leader of the Free World.
Fact is, public opinion of Bush has undergone one of the most radical about faces in memory: From his first-term's highest approval rating in the Gallup Poll's entire 70-year history, TO second-term whipping boy with a record-low approval rating of 27%.
In the words of one December 31 news headline: "Scholars unflinching in negative assessment of Bush's legacy." (Detroit Free Press) And, according to the experts, "W" will undoubtedly go down in the book as one of the "Worst Presidents Ever."
Contrary to popular belief(s), the REAL reason behind Bush's fall from grace is not "policy" (say the leftists), "scapegoating" (say the rightists), or a "breakdown of bipartisanship" (say the middle-ists).
It is: A downturn in mass social mood, as reflected by the bear market decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In his 2002 best-selling book Conquer the Crash, Bob Prechter addressed the one pre-condition for Presidential popularity and wrote: "U.S. electoral history shows that when the stock market is rising, reflecting a positive social mood trend, voters tend to maintain the incumbent leader. When stock markets collapse, the leader is thrown out in a landslide or by other means. There are no exceptions to this rule."
The moderate gain in the market averages in the three years leading up to Election Day in 2004 indicated a small margin in Bush's favor, and that's the way the election turned out. On that very day, the November 4, 2004 Elliott Wave Theorist warned: Bush's victory would be short-lived. An excerpt from the EWT painted this startling picture:
"This is bad news for Republicans, who will rue the day they won the election in 2004. The large degree of the bear market that is underway is likely to wreak havoc with Bush's second term… He will probably experience something very like Nixon's second term but worse: A bigger slide in the stock market, a drop to lower levels of popularity, and ultimately ousting by some method. If he makes it through all four years, the next Republican candidate will probably lose the 2008 election by a huge margin. The downhill course of this presidency will pave the way for the Democratic candidate to become president in 2008."
Note: EWT's prediction came BEFORE the Bush Administration was marred by the bursting of the real estate bubble, the subprime mortgage implosion, the Hurricane Katrina levy debacle, the Abu Ghraib scandal and Guantanamo Bay detainment camp controversy, the credit crisis, and the across-the-board meltdown of all asset classes in the U.S. economy.
The wheels of a downturn in social mood had already started to turn. Our team of expert analysts foresaw that its reversal would take down every pillar of the former bull market glory, including the President (and his party) – AND determine the outcome of the 2008 election long before the November 4 votes were tallied.
Socionomically speaking, Barack Obama's campaign slogan of "Change" was pure genius. Change is exactly what social mood had undergone AND exactly what it would demand of its new leader.