How do you rank this list in terms of lameness? We're operating under the premise that, no matter what, it's very lame any time the previous administration is trotted out as a misdirection ploy for explaining away how bad their chosen POTUS has bungled whatever is the latest crisis of the day. With that in mind, we're speaking in degrees of lameness.
Here's the list, and we're going to keep it relatively truncated to the past 30 years, which means we go back to 1987 as a starting date. That means Reagan is included, but in a limited fashion.
For example, something like blaming the previous administration "But Carter" or "But Bush" or "But Clinton" shouldn't be a legit defense 6+ years into your presidency. Using something like that deep into a POTUS' second term is cause for extra demerits. Fortunately for Reagan, and his short time inside the eligibility window for this survey, we never much heard that, or "But Mondale."
And frankly, since we're on the subject of Mondale and other losing candidates for the highest office in the land, I think it's appropriate for additional demerits for using the losing candidate as your excuse.
So anyway, let's rank them:
But Perot (I've consulted the judges, and they're allowing it, although it's not likely to come up)
But (GHW) Bush
But (GW) Bush
So there it is: 15 possibilities as blame patsies by the winner (or sitting POTUS) in each General Election since 1987. Which excuse is the lamest, based on frequency and manner of usage in deflection, especially with regard to how extreme the incident is that's being deflected?
I'm going to think about this a while before I have a list. I'm on vacation this week, so I have some time.