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Truman and Bush — two of a kind?

Sixty-five years after Harry Truman's inaugural, ex-Bush aide Mark McKinnon counts the ways that the 33rd and 43rd presidents were similar, starting with their low approval ratings (Truman bottomed out at a record-low 22 percent, compared with George W. Bush's 25 percent) and including their faith, determination and decisions to start wars. As he ponders whether Bush might similarly rise over time in historians' eyes, McKinnon credits historian Douglas Brinkley with a final observation about the two: "Both Truman and Bush were avatars of direct action. Neither cared much about public opinion polls or pulse-reading. At their best, they were decisive mavericks. At their worst, too-fast-of-draws."

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