Poll: George W. Bush is gaining in popularity

posted at 4:41 pm on June 27, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I’ve always thought that history is going to be kind to President George W. Bush. While that whole “compassionate conservatism” thing and its derivative policies drive me nuts (what does that imply — that I’m otherwise not compassionate? False, ugh!), I think his humility and good-faith efforts will eventually earn him much more widespread respect than he received when he was in office.

Despite President Obama’s best attempts at a no-holds-barred blame-Bush approach — from continued economic doldrums to Fast & Furious gunwalking tactics, there seems to be no problem that President Obama didn’t “inherit” — it appears that Americans are already starting to look back on President Bush with at least a little more fondness.

The WashExaminer caught this in the latest NBC News/WSJ poll: slowly but surely, President Bush’s approval ratings are on the up and up.

Deep in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll just published is the first hard evidence that the nation is softening on the 43rd president run out of Washington by Obama and still the target of the current president’s efforts to blame somebody for the rotten economy.

According to the poll, 36 percent of the nation has a very positive to somewhat positive view of the former president, a 10-point surge since he retired to Crawford, Texas after two terms. For a year and a half Bush languished in the poll, but has recently ticked higher, though 45 percent still view him negatively. But that’s better than the 53 percent who viewed him poorly after Obama took office, said pollster Peter Hart and Bill McInturff.

Not bad, considering that Bush has largely removed himself from major public view (in order to do things like work with the Wounded Warrior Project, so awesome), while Obama has done everything under the sun to capitalize on the country’s exasperation near the end of the Bush era.

Honestly, President Obama couldn’t even ease off the blame-game for a day when President Bush visited the White House a month ago for his portrait unveiling — Obama just had to remind everyone how horrible the economy already was when he came into office. Awkward.


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Well they have since had others to compare him too.

MechanicalBill on June 27, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Obama likes to blame Bush for the economy. It’s ironic because I’m fairly certain that in the past 4 years, Bush has had a more positive impact on the economy than Obama.

MrX on June 27, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I like him personally. Certainly didn’t agree with many of his policies. But he is very classy and likeable.

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The look on Barky’s face is pretty revealing…

indyvet on June 27, 2012 at 4:46 PM

President Obama couldn’t even ease off the blame-game for a day when President Bush visited the White House a month ago for his portrait unveiling — Obama just had to remind everyone how horrible the economy already was when he came into office. Awkward.

Awkward? Hardly….Obama delights in pointing the finger and placing blame, anytime, any place. For him it’s even more fun to do it in person, face to face. Surprised he wasn’t scratching his nose with his middle finger in Bush’s presence.

Punk pResident.

hawkeye54 on June 27, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Never lost it with me. I always liked that W fella. A real person..Real people always are more popular when placed beside a cardboard cutout of an O. It’s all the perspective..

congma on June 27, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Bark is making Carter look good.

It isn’t surprising that George W Satan’s image is recovering.

CorporatePiggy on June 27, 2012 at 4:48 PM

…the 43rd president run out of Washington by Obama

Silly me; I thought it was established law that ended Bush’s time in Washington.

Wine_N_Dine on June 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM

“Miss me yet?” Yup times 1000!

Deano1952 on June 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM

My prediction is an ex-President Obama can expect the opposite to happen to his poll numbers.

Ukiah on June 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Bush is genuine. Obama is a fake. Nuff said!

jazzuscounty on June 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

evidence that the nation is softening on the 43rd president run out of Washington by Obama and still the target of the current president’s efforts to blame somebody for the rotten economy

Huh? Did I miss something? Was Bush defeated in a run for a 3rd term?

GarandFan on June 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Of course chuck todd would not mention this nugget

cmsinaz on June 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I like him personally. Certainly didn’t agree with many of his policies. But he is very classy and likeable.

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2012 at 4:45 PM

That’s how I feel. His presidency had a good start but I became increasingly disenchanted with him after 2004. He certainly set the stage for Obama, but he wasn’t remotely as destructive.

Doomberg on June 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

W should get a T-shirt with Bigfoot on it and the logo:

MISS ME YETI?

profitsbeard on June 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Huh? Did I miss something? Was Bush defeated in a run for a 3rd term?

GarandFan on June 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Heck, O wants us to think that the last 4 years were Bush’s 3rd term.

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Drudge: Medical Examiner: Causeway Cannibal Not High On Bath Salts

Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene

OMG!!! Pot causes cannibalism!!!

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

That’s how I feel. His presidency had a good start but I became increasingly disenchanted with him after 2004. He certainly set the stage for Obama, but he wasn’t remotely as destructive.

Doomberg on June 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Yep. 2nd term was a big disappointment. Everything went downhill after his attempt at Social Security partial-privatization went down with a wimper (not really his fault, except maybe poor messaging).

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Whatever you think of W, and whether you agree with all the things he did as president (I don’t), he’s still a good guy, and a stand up guy.

Ward Cleaver on June 27, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Drudge: Medical Examiner: Causeway Cannibal Not High On Bath Salts

Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene

OMG!!! Pot causes cannibalism!!!

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

That explains the munchies.

Bitter Clinger on June 27, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Let’s not get sloppy-sentimental over GWB: he was no foe of big government and pretty cack-handed even when he was doing the right thing. There was the Miers nomination, his failure to control spending, an Iraq war that took far too long to get on the right track, establishing the TSA and so on. He shines only by comparison.

PersonFromPorlock on June 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Well, he did average 5% unemployment with 9/11, Katrina, internet bubble burst, and housing crisis all in his 2 terms.

Never blamed Clinton once…..

Wagthatdog on June 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

OMG!!! Pot causes cannibalism!!!

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

That’s the problem with tox screens – they take weeks to come back, and that guy is forever known as the bath salts guy.

Ward Cleaver on June 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Obama was good at one thing… making Bush look good. And the alien invasion thing.

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM

God Bless President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush. True class. True Patriots. Always.

FlatFoot on June 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM

The good thing about Obama is that he’s even making Bush look good.

Notorious GOP on June 27, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Hah!

With respect to Obama, people are coming to realize that G.W. wasn’t all that bad.

Lawrence on June 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I blame Obama.

novaculus on June 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I always liked W!

Did not care for some of his domestic policies but he was and is always a humble guy unlike the current occupant where everything is My, Me, I….

g2825m on June 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Bush may get rehabbed by the “polls”. but the history books are still written by Democrats. And will continue to be written by Democrats for years if not decades to come.

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

evidence that the nation is softening on the 43rd president run out of Washington by Obama

What? Bush was run out of Washington by Obama? Does that even make sense? Bush left when his terms were up. He wasn’t voted out or run out.

Sue on June 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

I always liked George Bush’s personality. I really liked his humor, too, but didn’t agree with many of his policies. I don’t want him back in the form of Jeb, either. That said, I think he has shown pure class as a former president.

Fallon on June 27, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Despite President Obama’s best attempts at a no-holds-barred blame-Bush approach — from continued economic doldrums to Fast & Furious gunwalking tactics

Since the media has blamed President Bush for Fast and Furious, I am surprised that little has been made by conservatives of the fact that the W program ended in 2009.

I read that and a detailed explanation of tracking units used by the last administration. They were dropped for some reason by the current ATF or AJ.

IlikedAUH2O on June 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Bush’s numbers tanked when he suggested his own base was racist for opposing his amnesty proposal. This 10 point surge is most likely his base softening up on him.

Daemonocracy on June 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

the 43rd president run out of Washington by Obama

What the hell?

Oh, it was written by MSNBC.

Resume your regularly scheduled lies and half-truths.

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

What? Bush was run out of Washington by Obama? Does that even make sense? Bush left when his terms were up. He wasn’t voted out or run out.

Sue on June 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Well, considering that Obama was running against Bush in 2008, it’s easy to see how someone could be confused.

tdpwells on June 27, 2012 at 5:25 PM

OT, but I couldn’t resist.

Big Brother in Sweden now wants to follow men into the bathroom.

Where socialism will eventually lead, or,

It’s come to this

NapaConservative on June 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

The attacks on Bush after 9/11 were seen by me as a complete lack of priorities. God bless 43.

thebrokenrattle on June 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Miss me yet?” Yup times 1000!

Deano1952 on June 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

…I have the bumper sticker…I have to get the T-shirt yet.

KOOLAID2 on June 27, 2012 at 5:31 PM

When a bunch of evil bast*rds from the muslim religion attempted to behead our country’s banking, defense, and civilian government… George W. Bush did as good a job as anyone else could have or would have at keeping that deed from leading to chaos.
-

Barry would have probably identified with the hijackers and said that they reminded him of his days in the choom gang.
-

Obama is a mere shadow of the President that preceded him. Not that Bush was perfect, he made mistakes, but most his mistakes were made due to fast moving and very difficult to deal with events. Even Katrina was handled with reasonable response by the Bush admin. Not perfect, but the media and the dems beat him up way beyond his part in the misery that was Katrina.
-

Barry on the other hand is the maker of most of his own bad press (though the MSM is still attempting to bury the stink he creates). Had he approached the situation he inherited without using the economic crisis as a sword & and his race as a shield in a battle with the American peoples’ futures… we would not be so damned divided and working so hard to undo the things that he has done.
-

Yup… I’d take George back in a heart beat if it meant Barry was done.

RalphyBoy on June 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I hope the poll is like a lot of polls – dead wrong.

rickv404 on June 27, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Jimmy Carter is a lucky man. He lived long enough to be redeemed into “the 2nd worst president, evah”.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

.
You underestimate the power of a long lasting, tingling sensation.

FlaMurph on June 27, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Whatever you think of W, and whether you agree with all the things he did as president (I don’t), he’s still a good guy, and a stand up guy.

Ward Cleaver on June 27, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Bush would be a good neighbor, but his promising Presidency was lacking.

RJL on June 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

WTF does any polling on GWB matter?

Harbingeing on June 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

…great…my neighbor’s dog left a pile on my grass but I was able to blame Bush…it was so easy!

guess I’ll have to go back to blaming second hand smoke or global warming…maybe I’ll step-up and blame soft-drinks.

(and yeah there is the official photo of Laura and him on the freezer…right next to the “I stand with Scott Walker” sign and the “My dog is smarter than your honor student” bumper sticker).

GW was and continues to be a class-act.

teejk on June 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I’ve always thought that history is going to be kind to President George W. Bush. While that whole “compassionate conservatism” thing and its derivative policies drive me nuts (what does that imply — that I’m otherwise not compassionate? False, ugh!), I think his humility and good-faith efforts will eventually earn him much more widespread respect than he received when he was in office.

I think you have an excellent understanding of Bush 43 and his role in politics and history.

Granted, that may just be another way of saying that I think you’re smart because you agree with me.

“Compassionate Conservatism” is the flaw at the bottom of all Bush 43′s problems. If not for that, I think the 2006 Dem takeover of Congress would have fizzled, which would have kept the spending down, led to reform of Fannie Mae, and avoided the economic meltdown just before the 2008 election.

It’s still hard to believe Americans reacted to Bush’s overspending by giving Congress to Democrats who tripled his level of overspending, but there it is.

I believe Bush’s flaws were fairly minor overall, but they happened to include a rabidly partisan and even hateful media determined to trash him. They spent the first part of his administration looking desperately for a scandal, but never finding one.

Failing a real scandal, they went with insinuated scandals like Valerie Plame and replacing a few US attorneys, and the lie that there was some scandal concerning WMDs in Iraq.

And that’s why I agree that history will be kind to Bush. Absent the constant onslaught and disinformation from the media, he’ll wind up looking better and better.

tom on June 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Despite President Obama’s best attempts at a no-holds-barred blame-Bush approach — from continued economic doldrums to Fast & Furious gunwalking tactics

Since the media has blamed President Bush for Fast and Furious, I am surprised that little has been made by conservatives of the fact that the W program ended in 2009.

I read that and a detailed explanation of tracking units used by the last administration. They were dropped for some reason by the current ATF or AJ.

IlikedAUH2O on June 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Don’t you mean 2007? 2009 would have been just as Bush was leaving office.

tom on June 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

So he goes from 26% to 36% support…

Somehow I doubt Romney will try to leverage this massive upwelling of support by having him on the campaign trail. They are more likely to tell him to stay indoors until the election is over.

lexhamfox on June 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Honestly, President Obama couldn’t even ease off the blame-game for a day when President Bush visited the White House a month ago for his portrait unveiling — Obama just had to remind everyone how horrible the economy already was when he came into office. Awkward.

Because he is a low rent P.O.S., then again what does one expect from a Chi-Town thug pol.

NY Conservative on June 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Not bad, considering that Bush has largely removed himself from major public view (in order to do things like work with the Wounded Warrior Project, so awesome),

Erika,

You make it sound like Bush went into hiding when he left the White House. He removed himself from politics and I don’t blame him after the way he was treated by his self-proclaimed “base” … but he did not remove himself from ‘public view’, he removed himself from the ‘major media’s view’ because all they wanted was a soundbite about Obama.

And you’ve got backwards his work with our warriors who have been wounded in the War on Terror. The George W. Bush Presidential Center has a Military Initiatives Program and hosts events throughout the year that are tailored specifically for our wounded warriors. The organization of The Wounded Warrior Project is a sponsor of those Military Initiatives.

Texas Gal on June 27, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Sooner or later the public will see the very poor manners of our president. I’m not saying we should have a President pure as the driven snow but I’m saying we all drift a bit. (pun intended) When a President pronounces nuclear as newcler the press falls all over itself to run this by us over and over; What I’m talking about are manners that Mom and Dad drove into our heads when we were young and the ones taught to us by social structures of life. Obama seems to ignore protocol and when he does this the media laughs if off but in cultured nations these gaffs are serious faux pas remembered. There are too many of these to list here and as the man child in office expresses himself his manners are falling into tantrums, wait until tomorrow.

mixplix on June 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I’m a strong consertive – so – on a scale of 1 to 10. I’d give Bush a 4. His domestic spending and expansion of government was right up there with FDR. Ok – maybe not quit that bad but he’s close.

bs4948800 on June 27, 2012 at 6:29 PM

WTF does any polling on GWB matter?

Harbingeing on June 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Barack BLAMEBUSH Obama loses re-electability power as W loses demonization status.

profitsbeard on June 27, 2012 at 6:47 PM

W always had a sense of the dignity of the office while being easy going and able to laugh at himself. The current occupant seems to have the opposite characteristics.

tj4osu on June 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM

God Bless President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush. True class. True Patriots. Always.

FlatFoot on June 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM

+ 100..Hear!..Hear!..:)

Dire Straits on June 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM

In my younger days the bumper sticker read:


“I miss Ike, hell, I even miss Harry!

Somebody could make money with an update…

“I miss W, hell, I even miss Bubba!”

Drained Brain on June 27, 2012 at 7:43 PM

He saved us from dunderhead Al Gore and John F’n Kerry, and for that he has my sincere thanks.

He wasn’t perfect, but he was worlds better than those two jackwads.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Lots of great comments here and I echo the sentiments. He was also one of the best CinCs I had in my entire military career.

hawkdriver on June 27, 2012 at 8:07 PM

OMG!!! Pot causes cannibalism!!!

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Correct, when Doritos are not present.

hillsoftx on June 27, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Compassionate conservative was an updated way of saying Rockefeller Republican or country club Republican. In 2000 I voted for him over McCain and have no regrets; certainly he was a far better choice than Gore.

So while I never expected much there was a golden moment where it looked like W was going to achieve Presidential greatness, alas all I can really say is that he was better than Gore or Kerry.

The practice of avoiding media attention was once the unbreakable rule of retired Presidents, the exceptions being Carter and Clinton. (Q Adams and Taft being special cases)Bush always maintained the dignity and grandeur of the office, and still does.

In Bush’s case I think his greatest fault was that his belief in Compassionate Conservatism led him to fill his administration with liberals who ultimately did him and us a lot of damage.

halfbaked on June 27, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Bush NEVER blamed his predecessor for ANYTHING.

Think for a moment about all the things he could have complained about. While Clinton was president, Al Qaeda was the fastest growing organization in the history of man. They attacked us over and over and Clinton did nothing. This was a recruiting jackpot for Al Qaeda.

Still, Bush never complained. He also hasn’t spoken ill of Obama.

Presidents are not supposed to speak ill of their predecessor or their successor. I’ll bet you Romney restores that tradition.

Pythagoras on June 28, 2012 at 2:32 AM

…run out of Washington by Obama …

…eight years after being ‘run out of Austin’ by Rick Perry…

kbTexan on June 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM