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Bush Legacy in Convalescence


President George W. Bush’s reputation among Americans is on the rebound. For the first time in eight years, more Americans regard W positively than negatively, says Gallup. The WSJ reports:

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]

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  • rheddles

    President Bush’s favorability ratings are the lowest, by a substantial
    margin, of any living ex-President—including Jimmy Carter.

    That’s because so many who suffered under Carter have died and so few alive now remember 21% mortgage rates.

    • Corlyss

      The distance phenomenon seems as predictable as the tides. Let a little daylight appear between now and a president, and all of a sudden people decide he weren’t so bad after all. Somewhere in the 70s or early 80s some firm did a poll on how many voted for Kennedy. It came back something like 75% said they voted for him. That result was highly unlikely in a random sample. The conclusion was waggishly presented as “if everyone who say they voted for him had actually done so, he would have won by a landslide.”

  • Corlyss

    Frickin’ lot of good it does the nation now, i.e., now that Sheeple renewed Obama’s contract largely on the basis that they still blamed Bush for the economy. Day by day we get an explosion of evidence that We The People are too shamefully ignorant to maintain their end of the governmental agreement inherent in our system.

  • purusha

    Bush’s legacy is blood.

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