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Americans already rethinking George W. Bush; his poll numbers now but one point below Obama's

November 9, 2010 |  2:06 pm

Republican former president George W Bush Signs copies of his new book Decision Points in Dallas 11-9-10

Good thing President Obama fled overseas after the disastrous Democratic outcomes in the midterm election.

He wouldn't want to see Tuesday's new poll numbers.

Gallup just announced that Americans' favorable opinions of George W. Bush have risen. This comes as the Obama presidency ages, and now their favorable views of the Republican nearly match their feelings about the Democrat.

Gallup now finds that 44% of Americans have a favorable view of the 43rd president, up about 10%, or four points since the end of his second term in January 2009. Obviously, the former chief executive no longer has a job approval rating.

According to the authoritative RealClearPolitics average of polls, 45.4% of Americans now approve of Obama's job performance, while 49.6% disapprove, compared with 53% Bush disapproval. Obama's approval is down from the 70% range at his inauguration.

Additionally, the same RCP compilation finds 63.8% of Americans feel the country is on the wrong tLong lines of buyers wait to purchase former President George W Bush's memoir Decision Points on publication day 11/9/10rack under the current president, while 31.2% feel it's on the right track.

During his 22 months in office, Obama and his VP, Joe Biden, have sought to blame much of the country's lingering problems, including jobs, on eight years of failed you-know-whats by you-know-who from Texas.

The controversial Bush is emerging from the same period of relative seclusion to promote his new book, "Decision Points," which has surprisingly become an instant best-seller with long lines forming to buy the book on Tuesday's publication day (See photo above).

In recent interviews, Bush says the presidency is difficult enough and he has no intention of criticizing his successor.

Ticket readers had an advance look here at Bush's conversation Tuesday night with the Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity (6 PST, 9 EST). The former Texas governor says he enjoys his post-White House life and is at peace with the many controversial decisions he made and describes in the memoir.

Though improved in recent months, Bush's current approval is barely half of his highest approval, which was 87% in late 2001, just one point below the highest Gallup has ever found among public figures. (Tiger Woods' and Colin Powell's 88%.)

That approval carried over to 2002 when Bush joined Franklin Roosevelt as the only two presidents whose parties gained seats in their first midterm elections. A week ago Obama and his Democrats lost a half-dozen Senate seats and five dozen House seats, the most in a half-century.

 When Gallup first began polling on Bush in early 1999, his favorable rating stood at 69%. After the contentious Florida vote recount of late 2000, it was at 67%.

At this point in Bill Clinton's post-presidential period, his rating was slightly higher than Bush's, 47%.

Related Item:

George W. Bush makes surprise visit to U.S. troops

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos, from top: Bush signs a copy of 'Decision Points' (credit: Matt Nager / Bloomberg News); long lines form to buy his memoir outside a Dallas bookstore (Tom Pennington / Getty Images).

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