The Horrible Lingering Horror of George W. Bush
Charles Pierce, Esquire
idn't we just have a little bit of a lovefest at the White House because they unveiled the official portrait of George W. Bush, in case future generations refuse to believe that the country was led for eight years by a guy who could've found a rake to step on in the Gobi Desert? Didn't Maureen Dowd just last week dust off her political libido and compare the current president's regular-guyhood unfavorably to that of his predecessor? I'm sure we did. But, alas, the nation seems less than prepared to start paying $19.95 for prints of the newest presidential portrait.
According to the poll, released Thursday morning, 43% of people questioned had a favorable opinion of Bush, with 54% saying they had an unfavorable view of the former president. Bush's 43% favorable rating is the same as it was in 2010 in CNN polling, but is up from his mid-30's favorable rating during 2009, his first year out of the White House.
Is it that hard to believe? The data seem to prove that the longer C-Plus Augustus is out of the White House, the better people like him. However, there's one prediction here that I would not take to the bank:
"Don't be surprised if the Obama campaign mentions the name of George W. Bush at every opportunity, and don't be surprised if that strategy works," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And the mention of Bush's name appears to prompt at least a few people to take a more positive view of their current financial situation."
Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, stand next to his portrait during a unveiling ceremony Thursday in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (photo: Charles Dharapak/AP)
I would bet a shiny buffalo nickel that nobody in the Obama campaign - let alone the president - has any intention of mentioning that name in public. First of all, why start now? The time for doing that was in 2009, when it could have been used to explain to the country why the entire economy had fallen down the well, and why certain members of the previous national-security apparatus would be going to the Hague, and why certain Wall Street cowboys would be going to Danbury. Second, it's just not in the guy to do stuff like that. I know it's a personal gripe of mine, but look at the way the president continually refers to "Congress" when he clearly means "those Republican meatheads." We have moved forward, after all, and we do not look back.