5 Presidents, 1 Commonality: Trust | The Trust Edge

Today, April 25, 2013, was a significant day in American history as five presidents came together to honor the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Although these presidents served with different political agendas and ideologies, they all had one thing in common: Trust. Whether it was building or re-building trust with U.S. Citizens each of these men can acknowledge that a lack of trust is your biggest expense.

Whether a president was attempting to build trust with its people after a dip in the economy or rebuilding trust after a public scandal, each president knew that they needed to have their people trust them to be effective in the leadership of the United States.

President Clinton had a breach of trust when he was charged with lying under oath and obstruction of justice in his attempts to cover up his affair with White House Intern, Monica Lewinsky. He also failed to obtain a healthcare reform, and was investigated for his financial dealings. President Carter’s breach of trust came in his inability to handle the 1980 Iran hostage crisis. The mysterious payment of $250,000 from the Libyan government to his brother cost him his re-election. 

Going into office President Bush had success upon success. Because of the events that occurred during his presidency, including the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the Afghanistan and Iraq War, he left office in 2008 with an approval rating of 23%.

President Obama went into office with an economic burden on his shoulders, Republicans at his throat and controversial bills pouring through Congress. At the time of his re-election run his approval rating was at 38%.

So what made the public believe that Clinton’s endorsement of President Obama in the 2012 presidential elections was credible?

Why is it that Carter is now seen as the President who restored balance to the constitutional system after the Water Gate Scandal of Johnson and Nixon?

How is it that President George W. Bush has a 47% approval rating today?

Why is it that at the height of economic discussion President Obama has a 49% approval rating and according to a recent Gallup Poll is the most trusted, with a 57% approval rating, when it comes to handling economic issues?


Clinton proved that over time trust can be restored; it takes patience and consistency and a very sincere apology.

Carter stepped out of the lime-light, and began to contribute to the country and the world through his position as advisor to presidents on the Middle East and human rights issues.  

President Bush refused to respond when verbal assaults were hurled at him. He took responsibility for the events that occurred while in office. He began making huge contributions to American Veteran’s coming home from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to show them his full appreciation for the heroic deeds and actions taken by the U.S. Military.

President Obama’s approval rating skyrocketed because he has been consistent in his message to the people. Whether or not you agree or disagree with him, among the fighting and bickering of the U.S. Congress, President Obama has connected with the American people and shown that he is competent and capable of making things happen.  

Today is a significant day, because these presidents have proven that:

  1. Trust over time, once deeply rooted and strong, can often withstand many storms and challenges.
  2. Even after trust has been broken, there is still hope, over time trust can be restored and lives enriched, it just takes patience and consistency. 


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