By Patrick Appel

If he lives long enough, maybe:

...the record suggests there are some things a President can do to boost his long-term value. Of all his predecessors, Bush may have the most to learn from Hoover, the one to whom, given the current Great Recession, he is increasingly compared. Bush may not be popular, but there aren't crowds calling for him to be hanged or accusing him of raiding Fort Knox before fleeing the country. Hoover left office in an even deeper hole than Bush, but he had the great advantage of a strong constitution. He lived another 31 years, during which time he was among the greatest champions of children this country has ever known. He drove the growth of Boys Clubs of America, the creation of UNICEF; he led the campaign to get food to millions of civilians who faced a catastrophic famine after World War II. That's what he was good at fixing things like the engineer he was. By the time he died, he had tamed his critics and turned up as a regular on Gallup's list of the most admired men. How'd he do it? "I outlived the bastards," he said.

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