Jonathan Bernstein: History Will Not Be Kind to George W. BushRoundup: Media's Take
tags: George W. Bush, historians, presidential rankings, Jonathan Bernstein, presidential reputations
Jonathan Bernstein is a columnist for the Washington Post.
George W. Bush is not remembered with any enthusiasm currently. That’s not likely to change.
Whatever way it’s measured, he’s not doing too well. Gallup has his retrospective approval at 47 percent; that’s third-lowest in the polling era, better than only Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson (Harry Enten has more on placing post-presidential approval in context). As far as historians and other students of the presidency, it’s even worse; Bush falls in the bottom quarter of the ratings surveys in which he’s been included.
In terms of popular appeal in the short term, Bush will likely be hurt because there’s no campaign underway to improve his reputation — either by himself, as was the case with Nixon and is still the case with Jimmy Carter, or on his behalf, as with John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. We don’t really have a way of measuring the effects of those campaigns, and Nixon’s hasn’t worked, but it certainly seems likely to help to some extent. Bush’s best hope as far as popularity is probably for his brother, nephew or some other family member to become president and excel, which somehow rubs off on him. That’s not much of a hope....
comments powered by Disqus
- Betsy DeVos Press Release Celebrates Jim Crow Education System as Pioneer of “School Choice”
- Eisenhower Concluded Neither U.S. Military Operations Nor Popular Uprisings Were Feasible in Soviet-Controlled Eastern Europe, Despite “Rollback” Rhetoric
- Jesse Jackson: It’s ok to leave Confederate monuments in place, but tell the full story
- Taiwan Commemorates a Violent Nationalist Episode, 70 Years Later
- As Albania Reckons With Its Communist Past, Critics Say It’s Too Late
- Mostafa el-Abbadi, Champion of Alexandria’s Resurrected Library, Dies at 88
- James Oliver Horton remembered as a pioneer for African American research
- Theodore Lowi, Zealous Scholar of Presidents and Liberalism, Dies at 85
- What LT. Gen. H.R. McMaster will offer as new national security adviser
- Fareed Zakaria hails historian Nigel Hamilton’s series as the memoir FDR never had the opportunity to write