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First, Blair is better because he’s smarter. And he can talk sensibly. Blair did what Bush never could do: articulate a persuasive case for invading Iraq.

But in the end it didn’t help Blair. For all his brains and glibness and media mastery, he leaves office unpopular and unmourned. Because of Iraq.

That’s the main reason Blair is better than Bush: He’s leaving. In the British parliamentary system, a leader who loses credibility loses office.

We’re not so lucky. We’re stuck with Bush until January 20, 2009. Nineteen long months from last Wednesday.

How bad is it? Bush’s approval rating is down to 26 percent.

He’s Nixon without the impeachment.

He’s even losing Republicans. He didn’t go down to 26 percent because of Democrats and Independents. They were already down on him.

Bush dropped because Republicans revolted over his immigration bill. They were mad at him because of the war – not for fighting it, but for losing it. The immigration bill is the last straw.

Republicans, like the rest of us, are ready to be rid of Bush. That’s why the presidential candidates are running away from him. They invoke Reagan, not Bush, when they talk about leadership.

The big challenge for the GOP nominee, whoever he is, will be hiding from Bush at the Republican National Convention next summer.

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