Joseph Britt has an interesting post on Dan Drezner’s blog about the Bush presidency. I’d say this is an accurate assessment:
But all these things suggest a rather negative kind of strength — a mastery of means but not necessarily of ends. Consider the veto, used by every President since Garfield to block enactment of legislation the President opposed. Bush has never used the veto even once. By contrast Bill Clinton vetoed 37 bills in eight years, Ronald Reagan 78 in eight years, Bush’s father 44 in four years (the Chirstian Science Monitor has a handy reference chart and some context). One could argue that this merely signifies that Bush has such mastery over political Washington that Congress only passes the legislation he wants. To me it looks more like he has a talent for surrender.