“I’m sorry for the mishaps. I wasn’t born to be president, but [I was born] to be a military man.” Last week, Jair Bolsonaro confessed his sins to journalists and showed some concern with his performance. “Sometimes I ask God, what have I done to deserve this? It’s problem after problem, but we can push Brazil forward,” he said.
In recent days, the president has given meek signs that he could be more open to a bit of governmental soul-searching. Last week, he decided to meet with congressional party leaders, tossing aside his “new politics v. old politics” rhetoric—and even apologized to an ally for calling him a “piece of s—.” While that is no more than basic courtesy, it represents a major leap for Mr. Bolsonaro.
He will need all the self-awareness he can muster in order to continue his term. A new poll by Datafolha—Brazil’s most respected survey institute—confirms a desperately negative trend for the administration: Mr. Bolsonaro has consistently lost popular support since taking office. Today, only 32 percent of Brazilians believe he is doing either a “good or great” job—with almost as many people saying his performance is “bad or terrible.”