George W. Bush’s job approval rating as president has spiked to 47 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. That’s 1 point higher than President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in a poll taken the same week.
This is the first time Gallup asked Americans to retrospectively rate Bush’s job performance. And it was a stunning turnaround from his low point of 25 percent in November 2008. The 47 percent number is 13 points higher than the last Gallup poll taken before Bush left office in 2009 and the highest rating for him since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Obama’s stumbles and dimming public memories of Bush’s shortcomings appear to be helping fuel the more positive reassessment of him. And, in recent weeks, Bush’s tour to promote his new memoir, “Decision Points,” and the groundbreaking of his new library in Dallas have generated mostly positive press.
Bush's participation in a Facebook forum last week marked yet another event at which the former president seemed perfectly at ease as he defended some of his most polarizing decisions. Even a Democrat buddy of mine marveled at how "likeable" Bush was after watching the online discussion. "Where was this guy in the White House?" he asked rhetorically. To which I respond with another rhetorical question:
UPDATE: A reader reminds me that this isn't the first poll showing 43 overtaking 44 in popularity, although the new Gallup poll doesn't frame the question as a head-to-head proposition.