If the President continues to trot out the "blame Bush" excuse (as he did the other night during the prime-time speech), then I think he has to also, logically, concede that his presidency has been an incredible failure anyway. Follow my logic here:
1) He ran, and won, knowing the state of the economy. It sounds obvious, I know, but it is the key to the rest of this. If the Bush administration was so horrible, it must have been fairly obvious to a member of the senate, running for POTUS, just how bad it was.
2) Knowing the state of the economy at the outset, he certainly wanted to improve it. I think we can all agree on that. I don't think he's an evil guy. And besides, he's far too full of himself to do anything but try to create a legacy for himself by, among other things, fixing that economy.
3) Despite spending exorbitant amounts of money, spending the likes of which we've never seen, despite promising better employment rates, despite promising he was going to "drive us out of the ditch," despite promising to bend the medical cost curve down, despite promising to be a "uniter" and to better relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world, despite all of that, he's accomplished...well, none of it, really. By any significant measure, we are worse off than when he took office. He's even had to resort to some mythical "jobs saved" measurement to not look completely incompetent. That's like saying I saved millions in child support because of all those women I didn't sleep with. With the execption of Bin Laden, which was a result of policies that he would have voted against as a senator, name me one success he's had. Anybody? He even won the Nobel Peace Prize (which I feel was completely undeserved), and then preceded to add one more war to the books (although given past winners, that shouldn't surprise anybody).
4) Objectively, he has failed in nearly every aspect of his presidency--foreign policy gaffes, ineffective, costly economic plans, you name it. Since he knew what he was getting into, ran for the job, welcomed the job, performed the job, it doesn't really matter whether he "inherited" problems or not. He hasn't fixed them, and has therefore failed. I'll use the analogy that he seems to be fond of lately--that of the American family. If a family is struggling and I come into their lives as a financial planner, with the objective of getting them back on track, and three years later their finances are worse than when I started? I've failed. And by the way, it certainly would do me no good to blame the household, except to make me look slightly pathetic. I came in to do a job, and didn't do it.
So there you have it. If he truly believes he "inherited" our current mess, then he is also a failed president. QED. Now would President McCain have failed as well? I don't really know. That answer is of the "jobs saved" variety. But I suspect two things--he wouldn't have failed quite as spectacularly, and he wouldn't have taken every opportunity possible to blame someone else.