Apparently, absence makes the heart grow fonder … unless your name is George W. Bush. According to a new CNN/ORC International poll, every living ex-president of the United States has a positive approval rating, except former President Bush. Bush’s approval rating was just 43%, with 54% stating they had an unfavorable view of him. That’s a statistic sure to warm the cockles of Barack Obama’s heart, since he has built his campaign strategy on continuously targeting Bush as the root of all evil.
More surprising, Americans now have a positive impression of former President Jimmy Carter – surely a factor of ignorance rather than historic reconsideration. 54% of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of Carter, with just 30% unfavorable. President George H.W. Bush’s favorable rating was 59%, with 34% unfavorable; President Clinton’s favorable rating was 66%.
Most important, the poll shows that President George W. Bush’s name creates good feeling for President Obama. While just 44% of Americans say they are better off now than they were four years ago, 47% say that they’re better off now than they were when Bush was president.