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With only 46 days left, Americans start re-liking George W. Bush

It makes sense if you think about it. But who's investing a lot of thought nowadays in President George W. Bush?

Not many. But the folks over at the Gallup Poll have found historically that American voters tend to start re-liking their outgoing presidents -- even after dumping them -- once the end of their term is in sight.

As The Ticket reported here (with a photo) yesterday, the Bushes have already purchased a home in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of north Dallas.

Bush has set a recent record for unpPresident George W Bush and First Lady Laura Bush happily back in Texas where they'll soon be living again fulltimeopularity with a favorability rating of only 24%.

Now, with less than seven weeks to go until Barack Obama's inauguration out of Bush's 416 weeks in office, his popularity has jumped to 28%. Still not that great.

But it'll probably go higher before he stands in the cold in front of the Capitol late on the morning of Jan. 20 and watches someone else take over the burdens of office.

"It is common for presidents who are about to leave the White House to receive a bump in their job approval ratings between election day and Inauguration Day,'' Gallup's Jeffrey Jones writes.

"Of the eight post-World War II presidents who left office after serving two terms, declining to seek an additional term or being defeated for reelection, six saw increased job approval ratings in their final two-plus months in office."

The last three presidents and four of the last five saw significant rises in their ratings, sometimes starting with the very first poll conducted after the election.

When in late October of 1992 Bush's father first realized he was certainly going to lose to Bill Clinton the next month, Bush's approval rating was 34%. Right after the election rejection, his approval jumped to 43% and ended at 56% when he stood in the cold on those same Capitol front steps. Small consolation perhaps, but interesting.

Our good friend Mark Silva has some more historical lame-duck numbers over here in the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Comments () | Archives (52)

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The is no media spin in the world that can redeem our (un)illustrious commander in chief. The Bush legacy will be exactly what it is... incompetent, ill advised and just plain dumb. The internet generation will no longer allow those in positions of power to rewrite history while they show there "good" side... sorry G'dub

Bush will go down in history as the worst president we've ever had. He was incompetent, dishonest and his political agenda seems to have been a deliberate attempt to destroy the country. 28% of the country need to have their heads examined.

Bush is down to support from people who think Jesus rode to church on a dinosaur.

You've got to be kidding me - a 4% "jump" is within statistical error - it shows little to nothing. Let's give some time to see a real trend before we start declaring that Americans are "re-liking" Bush.

(Actually, an increase from 24 to 28 is a 16.66% increase.)

Once he' out of office, I'm sure his approval rating will go to 100% - approval of the fact that he's no longer ruling us....

"his popularity has jumped to 28%."

This is a JOKE, right?

Two-thirds of the country hates the man and the LA Times runs the headline "Americans start re-liking George W. Bush"?

GIve me a freaking break. No wonder people have stopped reading the newspaper.

Is this a joke?

You can't possibly be serious. Bush has a 28% approval rating, and to you that makes him "popular." The same Preznit Stupid who destroyed our nation's economy, murdered a million civilians in an illegal war, committed torture, spied on American citizens, devestated our I getting through to you, Mister Beale?

Have you noticed any of these things? Did you bother to pay attention? Just what exactly were you doing these past eight years? Bush is thoroughly despised in America and throughout the world for a reason. If you can't be bothered to notice that...well, it's little surprise the nation's newspapers are in decline.

Oh, for pete's sake, since when does the far right wing of the GOP get mistaken for all Americans? So, 29% like Bush - he doesn't even have all of the Republicans yet. Much less any Dems or Independents. You guys have wanted the polls to validate your own bias to such an extent that you really think 29% is a great popularity rating. A hint - you keep pimping for this guy, you're going to catch his 29% approval!

Is this a joke? Bush's minions are still vindictively trashing every environmental and legal regulation they can get their hands on before leaving.

Really, is this early April Fools? Very unserious spin, IMHO.

LOSER! no matter what percentage of the rich and dim-witted still approve of this man.

Going from 24% approval to 28% approval is not "liking Bush more." It is "hating Bush less."

Using this tiny blip as an excuse for a headling implying that Americans now like Bush is laughable.

Wow--a "jump" from 24% popularity to 28% popularity means that Americans are "re-liking" Bush again? That's your argument? Really?

Uh, ok . . . if you say so.

And their buying a house in Dallas somehow advances this "thesis" because . . . ? What, the neighbors haven't rioted about it yet? The whole block hasn't moved?

The only thing the house purchase proves is what an utter farce the ridiculous "Crawford ranch" was--nothing but a campaign prop. Noel Coward was as much a swashbuckling rancher-cowboy as Bush ever was.

I'm really starting to like W more now that he's getting rid of his pretend ranch in Crawford. I also like the fact that he's ramming through all these last minute regulations that allow extraction industries to pollute our streams and rivers. That's just awesome. Love ya George!

for what its worth i still cant stand the guy and so do 72% of americans, probably most of which think hes the worst president EVER. 28% means americans are re-liking him? you're as dumb as bush.

Seriously? Americans are starting to re-like Bush? You're joking, right? You might want to ponder if the rapidly worsening economy - experiencing the greatest collapse since the great depression while Bush does nothing - just might dampen the public's enthusiasm for Bush. And give a thought or too about how the 530,000 new jobless feel about Bush. I doubt that they (and their friends and relatives) a starting to re-like Bush.

28% of the country appears to like somone who can screw up all facets of government without breaking a sweat (so long as he is a Republican). I think Cheney once characterized such people as dead-enders. I would not expect that number to grow.

The only thing we like about him is that he's going away.

American's start re-liking George W. Bush? A mere 72% of American's feel that Mr. Bush has only driven this great country of ours into the ground, without any regrets or compassion towards the horrible decisions he so recklessly perpetuated. Nothing the media can say or do will ever change the fact that President Bush never believed in the common good for this country; instead, he sought to fill the pockets of he and his administration with large amounts of money and govern the country in a way that when history looks back and ultimately dissects and examines the decisions that were made, along with the lies he so consistently uttered and repeated with a straight face, without any push-back or dissent from the media, many will wonder in total astonishment how he and his administration managed to get away with all of this. Pretty amazing.

24% to 28% is mostly statistical noise not to mention at 24% there wasn't much room to drop seeing how about a quarter of the electorate will mindlessly support all Republicans unless they molest children--Vitter is proof of that. I also think the endless stories of Bush's last minute deregulations--furthering the cause of mountaintop removal mining, listing the neurotoxin perchlorate as not needing regulation, etc.--will dampen the historical approval rating rise as will the worsening economy. Plus, after the countless tragedies, screw-ups, and downright disgusting acts of this administration Bush is still claiming he cannot think of one thing he did wrong during his reign. I don't think that plays too well either as even people in the above 24% crowd will admit he's made some mistakes. If he can't admit Katrina was his disaster he's living in delusionland.

President Bush may not have full filled the wishes of many, but he did keep bad people at bay. For those Bush haters (and there plenty) I am happy I don't have their problems.

This is a joke, right? The reason Bush's popularity is at 28% is because he is hated by the American people.

His rating has bumped by 4% to 28% and that is described as, "Americans start re-liking George W. Bush" You must be kidding.
Now if Bush was exiled to Elba rather then Dallas I'm sure it would spike but it is ludicrous to suggest that the man is ever going to be "popular."
Popular like the plague.

Ahh, here we see the haters come out. Nice.

I suspect some of this is because they BDS sufferers have created an atmosphere that's so hysterical and toxic they are now concerned that Obama will now be treated to the same type of psychotic outrage.

So they're trying to hit the reset button.

No mulligans for the new president -- the first time he shanks even a minor one, the howling and shrieking will commence and continue unceasingly.

Sauce. Goose. Gander.

Probably because he isn't doing anything now, much less anything stupid.

I like him even less than before. The deeper we get into this recession, the angrier I get. Ownership society? What ownership society? The Chinese own us. The banks own Treasury. What do we average Americans own? Bubkus.
I never thought this country could ALMOST be brought to its knees in less than eight years. Well, King George 41 did it.
He won't even own up to any mistakes. Not very adult at all. Compassionate conservatism. Well, not very conservative, more like a fascist and certainly not very compassionate. This stooge for the likes of Dick Cheney and all the draft dodgers of Vietnam ruined this country throughout the world and he and buddy Alan ruined us at home.
Buchanan, Grant, Harding and Hoover were inept. Nixon was an anti-Semite and a racist paranoid. But at least Nixon was smart, Ikept America in the lead, recognized China and brought some decent environmental laws to America. George Bush brought us a war in Iraq, terrorism worse than ever, a horrible recession bordering on depression, and oh yes, "You're doing a heck of a job Brownie," and "Gonzo" for an A.G.
Like him? I despise him for what he has done to this great country. However, when he dies, I'd love to nominate him for the Darwin Awards.

"It makes sense if you think about it. But who's investing a lot of thought nowadays in President George W. Bush?"

Wrong question. It took the MSM a 24/7 effort over a 6-year period to spew enough mendacious hate-Bush articles to drive that approval rating as low as it went. But in the last three months, the MSM has diverted much of that energy to providing the lavish fawning coverage pumping up The Obama, and the new hate-Palin line of slime as well. With those diversions, the old hate-Bush coverage slacked off and has allowed folks to consider President Bush without all the din of reverse-cheerleading, and his artificially lowered ratings are beginning to recover.

It will take years to complete the recovery, but it is well and properly begun.

Kinda funny then Andre since his popularity is largely the result of media spin and not what has actually happened. As for the 'internet generation' not allowing for rewriting history, thanks. I haven't had that good a laugh in ages. When you consider the whitewashing, kid-glove treatment of Obama and how 52% of Americans swallowed it without a thought I'd say your hypothesis is wrong.

HIstory will not wipe "W"'s slate clean merely because we're all a bunch of nice people. Historians have a unique talent of properly overviewing a U.S. President's role as the nation's protector and commander in chief. I doubt any positive spin on W's years will create a silkscreen over the truth. W was one of the most unpopular and misdirected presents our nation ever has known. '

Are you kidding me? It's the media trying to spin this resurrection of George W. Bush's image. They rolled over for him when his administration claimed there were WMD in Iraq. They are doing it once again. But, I don't think we, the American Public, is going to buy the Bush/media spinning again.

On the other hand, if the polls prove me wrong, then Americans really are stupid.

good for president bush. it will still take until end of obama's 1st and only term before bush is liked.

Bush did a few great things, a bunch of very good things, and a small number of poorly-considered things.

But his image was trashed by a bunch of no-honor thugs who got their way by screaming lies about what Bush did repeatedly for eight years, until too many of the Stupid Voters (the ones who vote based on pretty hair, or funny commercials, and don't know what ever happened to Burma) figured that, if they'd heard something eight hundred times on the internet, it must be true.

My generation is the internet generation, son. Your generation just learned to swear on it.

We're about to see just what a really incompetent, ill advised and just plain dumb president looks like. In the years to come we'll all have cause to miss President Bush and his steady hand at the helm.

For the last eight years we've watched the Democratics and the media (the Times very much included) lie, ridicule, insult, demean, and denegrate Bush on a daily basis. Many of us are sick of it, and sick of the LATs too.

We got it- you wanted Gore and Kerry to win and you think your frustrations justified your actions. Guess what? It didn't.

The LAT daily circulation is down 300,000 since Bush was first elected. Many of your readers are got sick of patronizing the shabby rag you've become.
"The Sky is Falling" has been the Times mantra for so long now you don't know what to write when the sky actually does start to fall.

Now you face the ultimate challenge- no one left to blame but yourselves. It'll be interesting to watch how you cover the tough decisions you'll have to make in your reporting from now on. Maybe you can cheer like Chris Matthews. Maybe you'll make fools of yourselves like Keith Olbermann.

Or maybe, just maybe, you'll try and be a decent newspaper once again.

Bush is - and will eventually be widely recognized - as a pretty good President, ala Truman. Certainly better than Clinton.

The Bush presidency will be defined by the Long War. It will probably be a generation or more before the outcome of this conflict, and the real story of the events of the last 7 years, are known. I think we will win in the end, and Bush deserves much of the credit for this.

Most of the crticism of Bush is wholly political, overwhelmingly emotional, and willfully ignorant, e.g. BDS.

why are you not posting submitted comments? Are they proving not to your liking?

The internet generation apparently won't be able to differentiate among homophones, either.

Andre - it can't be news to you that other people have said that before. You offer no evidence, just the usual "Ha, he's stooopid" insult. How is that different from coming in and peeing on the carpet?

George W. Bush freed 50,000,000 people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and saved the lives of maybe 100,000,000 in Africa from AIDS and malaria.

Jumped to 28%!!?? Are you really that stupid? Tell me, what's the margin of error on that 24 and that 28? Unless its zero, you're an idiot.

Oh, you mean all the hate from latime sand Nytimes is wearing off? He was by no means perfect, but also not even close to worse. Grow up lefites. How long do you expect students to thing you really are the "change", whne in fact you are the norm in their controlled lives?

Bush and Cheney did the tough slog, not perfect by a long shot however, dedicated this presidency after 9/11 to one thing.

All Obama has to do is not F it up and take credit for the work the adults have done.

BTW, I'll take $50 for every action in the WOT that, after seeing the lay of the land from the inside, Obama does not radically differ from Bush policy.

I'll be a rich man.

Wow, the independent thought in these comments *boggles the mind*.

Ahhh, so much anti-Bush derangement on display here. Just like your typical lying liberal, thinking they can actually hate their way to world peace starting with their own citizens and President who reject their immoral welfare plantation mentality. Such feral hatred from a people who claim to be "open-minded", "compassionate", "respectful of other opinions than their own" ... what utter hypocrisy from you people!

I bet you barking moonbats can't wait for your velvet gulag under your messiah, Obama, eh? And only then will you be "happy", right?

BTW, what's with all those Obamessiah appointments of the Clinton old guards, I thought this was a president of "change"? It looks more and more like the SSDD. Of course liberals are only happy when their own liars are in office. What happened to Obama's promise of pulling out American troops within 18 months of his inauguration? And what of NAFTA, FISA, tax increases to pay for your welfare plantation, and the Muslim world falling in love with America again? Lemmings!

Hide and watch, Haters. Hide and watch.

Wow - I see the 28%ers have made a late appearance. For Dan, who claims that Bush and Cheney "the tough slog" and all those who claim that Bush's approval ratings are a product of media bias, let's look at a few facts:

Under Bush:

-The deadliest attack on U.S. soil occurred despite the fact that the administration had specific warnings from multiple sources
-We attacked a country that had noting to do with 9/11, and we are still mired in that mess almost 6 years later, hemorrhaging cash and bodies, with no end in sight and no favorable outcome on the horizon
-The Dow has fallen from 11,700 when Bush took office to 8300 today - a decline of almost 30%
-Unemployment has risen from 4% to 6/7% - an increase of 67%
-In December 2000, the U.S. had a $250 bn budget surplus; today we have a debt that tops $1 trillion

Only completely clueless morons such as Dan and his friends here could look at the evidence and proclaim Bush a great president. I think their fawning over the piss-poor job he did says far more about their own low expectations than it does about Bush's job performance. I imagine it also reflects their own lack of intelligence. After all, how many intelligent people actually look up to someone as ignorant, inarticulate, and as much a failure as George Bush?

Bush's approval rating is still higher than that of Congress (only 18% favorable). Why isn't that mentioned?

Oh, come on people. Judging a man by his actions does not "derangement syndrome" make.

George Bush was President during the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history (and quoting the President himself, told a CIA agent he had "covered his ass" after the report about Osama bin Laden). Either terror attacks come every eight years (1993-2001), in which case George hasn't done squat, or they attack every year, in which case Bill Clinton did a bang up job. You can't have it both ways. Failure.

He invaded Iraq to get a democratic foothold in the Middle East - not a bad goal in itself, but a) he lied to the American people to get there (and saying "everybody believed Iraq had WMD's" is revisionist history), and b) fired generals, starting with Shinseki, until one told him had enough troops on hand to it immediately.people to do it. Failure (and don't start with the "but they are free" crap. Many Americans would cheerfully trade their freedom to have water and electricity 24 hours a day, something Iraqis don't have)

He let New Orleans drown after gutting FEMA to create the security theatre of Homeland Security and accelerated the free-market deregulation (begun under the center-right President Bill Clinton) that has led directly to the mortgage meltdown.

George Bush has objectively failed on security, foreign policy and (to a lesser extent, it's not all on him) the economy. He just flat didn't do that well, folks. Hard-core Bush supporters don't like that, and that's understandable, but the man did a poor job and that is the plain truth.

George W. Bush the worst president? Nonsense, people and the media conveniently seem to forget Jimmy Carter's years. In July 1980, Carter received a favorable rating of only 21% in the Gallup Poll. That was the lowest rating any president, including Richard Nixon at the time of his resignation, had received since polling began in 1936. During Carter's administration the inflation reached around 12% by 1980 election, the unemployment rate had leveled off to a nationwide average of about 7.7% by the time of the election campaign, but it was considerably higher in some industrial states, mortagage rates jumped above 20% and to make matters worse 2- and 3-block lines at gas stations to pump gas. Talk about worst president!

Rather than call people names, I will just say that the Liberal/Progressive mind is a very dark and dank place. In other words, not very bright.

Lied about WMD? Iraq had nothing to do with 911? Torture? What a crock.

Wake up; we are at war with a virulent ideology. And, yes, Mr. Bush and his administration did the tough work and the heavy lifting just so the adolescent Left can howl and whine, dispensing twaddle as knowledge and invective as truth.

Life is not fair, man is inherently flawed and any utopia to be found will be found in the next life.

Grow up Lefties, for your whining grows tiresome.

Why is it the far left just cannot get over the Iraq war? They are completely obsessed. News flash! George W. Bush was re-elected in November of 2004. He BEAT John Kerry! What a selective memory. Yes, and the surge has worked. Sorry, I know you love rooting against America and Iraq, but it's that much harder for you now. Desperate.

I think liberals are still extremely upset that Clinton was impeached and Bush never was. They know deep down that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be won and Bush will be given a heck of a lot of credit for it. They've been rooting for the failure of Bush since Day 1 and they are still so humiliated he won re-election. Embarrassment often creates anger and rage and that's obviously what we are seeing here.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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