For those interested in such things the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press have conducted a very thorough survey of public opinion on the Bush presidency. The results are discussed here.
One of the things that strikes me as peculiar about the survey is the number of people who refuse to credit Bush policies with having kept us safe from a second terror attack after 9/11. Fully 50% of Democrats said that Bush policies either did not do much or did nothing at all to protect us from terrorist attacks. I wonder what reason these people would give for why we haven't been hit again. Do they think that the Islamist extremists have just lost interest?
Another oddity is that in late April 2008, just 37% expressed a favorable view of the federal government, about half of the percentage of five years earlier, and yet by comfortable margins we elected to office the party most likely to give us a lot more federal government. Go figure.
One more thought on the survey. I think it almost politically impossible that Bush could be a popular president because to achieve popularity one has to be either a consistent conservative or a consistent liberal. Bush was neither. He was hated by liberals despite the fact that he did more to advance liberal ideas on helping the poor and oppressed and expanding government programs than did any Democrat president since FDR. Yet the left despised him because of the war and perhaps because of his Supreme Court appointments. Conservatives supported him for precisely those two reasons (plus his tax cuts) but were dismayed by all the things liberals should love him for. Consequently, because he did too much that people in both groups disliked, and because he did such a poor job of selling and defending his policies, few people on either side think of him as a good president.
Anyway, there's lots of data in the report to ponder and pore over. Most of the country, not surprisingly, thinks that Bush will be remembered as a bad president. Despite my frustration with some of what he hasn't done, I just don't see this, but time will tell.RLC