Second, the Bushies say that despite his campaign promises, Obama’s administration has not fully repudiated Bush, on issues from the closing of Guantanamo Bay to military tribunals. That has made Bush’s positions look better in retrospect. “President Obama has started out in a different place, very different than President Bush,” Gutierrez said. “As he has faced reality, reality has pushed him into the Bush position.”

Tuesday’s results, Perino suggested, would finally show the Democrats that Bush-bashing, their favorite sport in the last two election cycles, was obsolete. So maybe America would stop hearing a chorus of negativity about W.

A final Bushie hope: that as the travails of his administration recede, Bush’s personal traits will come to the fore. “I think that over time and with this book,” McKinnon said, “most people will come to recognize that whether they liked his policies or not, that he is a genuinely decent and very good man whose motivations were pure.”