Georgia Voices: Bush’s newfound popularity stems from fact he’s the un-Obama
by The Savannah Morning News
May 02, 2013 11:42 PM | 3375 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Who’s more popular among Americans right now? Is it President Obama or former President George W. Bush?

The answer is neither.

They’re tied.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush have the exact same job approval rating: 47 percent.

Who would have guessed?

In Mr. Bush’s case, that’s the highest approval rating for the former president since December 2005. Considering that it was just 33 percent in January 2009, Mr. Bush’s resurgence is stunning. Like former President Clinton, Mr. Bush has earned the title of “comeback kid.”

And he did come back into the spotlight last week for the unveiling of his presidential library in Dallas. That’s what former presidents in the modern era do.

These facilities are valuable repositories of information for students of history and for citizens who want to learn more about the men who served in the White House. Most are popular tourist attractions. The Clinton library in Little Rock, Ark., attracted more than 300,000 visitors last year.

The Bush library is the 13th presidential library. But its opening alone doesn’t explain Mr. Bush’s jump in the polls. It’s more complicated than that.

Part of the reason is Mr. Obama’s performance. During much of his first term, Mr. Obama blamed his Republican predecessor for nearly everything except faulty teleprompters. The sagging economy? It’s Bush’s fault. The budget deficit? Bush again. Rising unemployment? Don’t blame me, blame Mr. B.

These were magic words that removed barriers, like “open sesame.” And reciting them made some sense.

Mr. Obama captured the White House because the majority of Americans wanted change. The young Democratic senator from Illinois clearly was the un-Bush. He could legitimately say that some things weren’t his fault.

But when the buck stopped on his desk, he didn’t stop the Bush-blaming. Even today, the president is quick to fault others for almost every failing in Washington (just substitute “Republicans” for Mr. Bush). At the same time, he absolves the Democrats who control most of the political machinery (the White House and the Senate) and overlooks his own leadership shortcomings.

Most Americans were willing to cut him a break early on. But not now. So his fortunes have sagged into his second term.

Peggy Noonan, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, suggested last week that America is suffering from “Obama fatigue.” That seems an apt diagnosis.

Conversely, Mr. Bush is a man on the rise. In many ways, he’s the un-Obama. Since leaving office, Mr. Bush hasn’t pointed any fingers or acted like an arrogant professor enlightening the great unwashed. He’s been modest. Unassuming.

And funny. As Ms. Noonan wrote last week, when people expressed surprise that Mr. Bush could paint, he responded that “some people are surprised I can even read.”

Like all presidents, Mr. Bush had flaws and made mistakes. But he’s right when he says history will be the final judge of his presidency. He also seemed to understand that America was split in half politically, so he approached policy-making that way. And now, almost half of Americans have positive thoughts about him.

Yes, polls can be fickle. But Mr. Bush’s popularity jump — especially among those who identify themselves as Democrats — should hearten Republicans. It also should encourage Mr. Obama and the Democrats to get down to business.
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Penny Duff
May 04, 2013
Bush's "new found popularity" exists only in the imaginations of wishful conservative writers. Few people are fooled by the attempts to rehabilitate his image. He is still the man who lied to Congress (a felony), who took this country from a surplus to the largest deficit in US history, who is responsible for nearly a million deaths--shall I go on? Shall we talk about his performance during and after Katrina? His authorization of torture? We can keep going. Despite these pie-in-the-sky writers, he remains the worst president in US history. It still appalls me that he and Cheney have not been arrested and tried for war crimes.
Diamond Jim
May 05, 2013
And it appalls me, Penny dearest,that people as willfully ignorant as you are allowed to vote!!

Responsible for a million deaths? By whose accounting? And deficits?? Obama has run up bigger deficits in just 4 years than all other administrations back to George Washington combined. And lying?? Good Lord! Obama has told lie after lie (remember transparency in government? How about congressional deliberations on C-span? How about no new taxes on the middle class? How about Benghazi?) The man is lying every time his lips are moving, and does so with impunity because the so-called "main-stream" media are so busy swooning over his "coolness" that they cannot, and will not, do their job and call him out.

Obama is a petty, narcissistic Chicago-style thug politician, living a "let them eat cake" lifestyle at taxpayer expense while families across America struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. For every new job created since he took office, 74 people have gone on food stamps. Obamacare is a national disaster.

We are looking at the worst president in history, alright, but it isn't George Bush!
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