While he’s kept his profile remarkably low since leaving office, President George W. Bush has been thrust back into the spotlight of late, both with and without his consent. It could all culminate in a spirited mid-term election campaign later this year that could see Bush take to the campaign trail in a way the world hasn’t seen since 2004.
While President Bush hasn’t made any commitment to any campaign at any level, his first comments relating to the upcoming mid-term elections took place in February. It was in a Florida meeting with brother, and former Florida Gov, Jeb that George W. Bush apparently asked “who the hell is Marco Rubio?” It was a memorable quote regarding the gubernatorial candidate already considered among the Republican party's freshest faces. Since that comment, some press have speculated that President Bush’s role in 2010 won’t just turn the political balance, but might even dictate his ultimate legacy as president.
With polls suddenly showing an America divided between Bush and Barack, W has already been more active in 2010 than he was all of 2009. After being called upon by President Obama following the Haiti earthquake, Bush’s image has been much more visible of late. A billboard bearing his image in Minnesota asked, “Miss Me Yet?” while a new play in which President Bush stands trial for war crimes at The Hague is about to premiere off Broadway. Altogether, it adds up to a wave of sudden Bush nostalgia.
With organizations like Honor Freedom looking to educate Americans about the contributions of George W. Bush’s presidency, the 43rd president remains a divisive figure. Washington officials have already reversed some of his education policies, but the pro-W commentary has been particularly vocal of late. Even Google has been erasing some of the anti-Bush optimization on its search engine, potentially contributing to a mini-George W. renaissance.
After endorsing wind energy in Dallas and with his mark still firmly felt in Iraq and Afghanistan, the time may be ripe for George W. Bush to return to the passion and pomp of the campaign trail. Depending on how active he is later this year, it could go a long way towards cementing his legacy.