Dallas, Texas Former President George W. Bush is in the political wilderness no more. Not only is the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum being dedicated today—with President Barack Obama and ex-Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton in attendance. But Bush’s rehabilitation from years of unpopularity is beginning to take hold.
"Make sure,” Elliott Abrams told me, “that you have the better idea, and then push for it aggressively.”
He offered this advice back in 2006, when I was working for him in the National Security Council. At the time, I was involved in a minor conflict with another White House office, which was assuming a heavy-handed role in the formation of Lebanon policy—an area that, bureaucratically, fell to me.
As Adam White discusses in detail, there’s nothing moderate or incremental about the increase in federal regulations — and hence in centralized executive power — under President Obama. To the contrary (as White notes), according to figures published by the Obama White House (see table 2-1), the costs of regulations issued by this administration have dwarfed the costs of regulations issued by prior administrations.
While the mainstream press routinely reports that President Obama is riding high and that Republicans are reeling, Gallup tells a rather different story about the popularity of our newly reelected president. Across Gallup’s entire history of presidential job-approval polling — dating back to 1945 — every president but one has had a higher job-approval rating in the January following his reelection than Obama has. No president has had a lower rating than Obama’s.
Glenn Hubbard, appearing live on CNBC Wednesday morning, was struck by a falling piece of the set. Hubbard, who was the chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers and an economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was discussing the need for Congress to address the forthcoming entitlement crisis when a banner fell and hit him on the head:
When Republican strategists like Karl Rove cite 1980 as a model for this year’s election, they usually have in mind two main elements: Ronald Reagan’s question in the late October presidential debate about whether voters felt better off than four years earlier, when they elected Jimmy Carter, and Reagan’s ability in that debate to reassure swing voters about his ability to serve successfully if elected, converting a very close race into a ten-point blowout by “closing the deal.”
The media tut-tuts about the ebbs and flows of the polls in the presidential race because – well, because that’s what the media does. But, in fact, if you look at every presidential race going back over the years when the incumbent party was defeated or almost defeated – 1948, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2008 – most of them had some truly wild rides, many starting in September (the only real exception was 1960).
Despite—or because of?—continuing bad economic news, President Obama has doubled down on the argument that Mitt Romney and the Republicans will take the country back to “the failed policies that got us into this mess.” His argument is simple: While his policies haven’t (yet) worked, Romney’s (like Bush’s) would be worse.
The Romney campaign passes along George W. Bush's reaction to the announcement that Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney's running mate:
"This is a strong pick. Governor Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America, and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations."