The Washington Post published an online piece in its “The Fix” blog on Wednesday highlighting its own polling which found that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars prefer President Bush to Barack Obama as commander and chief. According to a recent Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, sixty-five percent of post-9/11 veterans found Bush to be a good commander in chief whereas just 42 percent said the same about President Obama.
The piece, written by Scott Clement of Capital Insight, also pointed out that Democrats are more than twice as likely to say Bush was a good commander in chief as Republicans are to say Obama is (46 percent vs. 17 percent). As of now, this piece only exists on the Washington Post website, but given that the findings are a product of the Post itself, one wonders if the Post will include the article in its print newspaper despite it showing bad news for President Obama. [EDITOR'S UPDATE: The poll did not appear in Thursday's newspaper. A 3,100-word front page story on vets used four questions from the poll, but the story never even had the name "Bush" in it.]
A further examination of the polling detailed in Clement’s piece exposes that “While 42 percent of veterans say Obama is a good commander in chief, his overall approval rating was even lower at just 32 percent.”
Interestingly, Clement asked if “Democratic service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan support Bush as much while he was at the helm?” He mentions that “Historical data for veterans are not available for comparison, but a 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll found Bush's overall job approval has grown dramatically since he left office, up more than 20 points since his record low marks in 2008.”
Finally, the piece exposes how damaging proposed military cuts have hurt President Obama’s popularity among veterans:
While Obama and Republicans both agreed to limited military benefit cuts in the past (before reversing them), the survey indicates that Obama's broader efforts to reduce military spending as the wars draw down runs up against a population of veterans who are deeply skeptical of being denied benefits they were promised.
Let’s hope the Post decides to print its own polling that shows the very men and women who protect our country prefer President Bush to President Obama rather than relegating it to its website.