People occasionally complain about 'Polls-Driven Politicans' as if that's some sort of negative. I had hoped that six years of Bush, a oil-powered politician, as opposed to eight awesome years of the poll-happy Clinton would be enough to convince everyone otherwise. Oh well.
The usual refrain is that following polls inhibits creativity and a willingness to buck public opinion when it's best for the Country. World War II wasn't popular when we got into it, etc.
But that seems to overly confuse competency with direction. Direction NEEDS to be at least partially poll-driven. What is the most important issue facing the Nation? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? Aren't these just the basic metrics that every President needs to have at his fingertips? To do otherwise would be like running a business without a balance sheet. You'd be living in your own vacuum, where wrong decisions are magnified by the lack of a corrective, and there is no mechanism to pull away from a bad road. Once direction is decided, with the aid of polls, it's solely the President's job to decide HOW and WHEN to fix the problem -- and that's his real job.
In conclusion, polls rock.