49% of Americans now view Mr. Bush favorably, outpacing the 46% who view him unfavorably. . . . At the end of his second term, he had a 40% favorability rating — and at his lowest point, in April 2008, just 32% of Americans viewed him favorably. […]Mr. Bush’s ratings have risen across the board, having risen by at least 10 points in each party since 2009. The Gallup poll found that 84% of Republicans, 46% of independents, and 24% of Democrats view Mr. Bush positively.
A recovery of this kind was almost inevitable for President Bush. Bill Clinton was a radical left-wing miscreant to many Republicans during his presidency before becoming their paragon of a sober, amenable liberal as ex-President. Harry Truman was non-too loved as President before eventually becoming an exalted Cold Warrior. When the next Republican President becomes the new bête noire of MSNBC and the NYT editorial board, expect them to remember W a tinge more wistfully than they do today.The Bush loyalists celebrating this news as a vindication might want to pause before breaking out the champagne. It’s probably worth remembering that President Bush’s favorability ratings are the lowest, by a substantial margin, of any living ex-President—including Jimmy Carter.With Clinton, Bush 41, and Carter all safely above 60 percent, Americans still regard W with unique displeasure.[Image of President Bush courtesy of Wikimedia]