I find this interesting only because there was always a reservoir of good will toward Bush among Republicans who admired his stick-to-it-iveness and toughness in the war on terror. His lowest numbers were never a reflection of how most Republicans saw him.
It's not surprising that now he's been out of office two years that people forget the bad stuff and remember what they liked about him. Somehow, I don't think his successor will enjoy that luxury:
This is the first time Gallup asked Americans to retrospectively rate Bush's job performance. And it was a stunning turnaround from his low point of 25 percent in November 2008. The 47 percent number is 13 points higher than the last Gallup poll taken before Bush left office in 2009 and the highest rating for him since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Still, Bush's 51 percent disapproval rating means he's only one of two U.S. presidents in the past 50 years whose disapproval exceeds approval. The other is Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace 36 years ago and whose approval rating stands at 29 percent.
Obama's stumbles and dimming public memories of Bush's shortcomings appear to be helping fuel the more positive reassessment of him. And, in recent weeks, Bush's tour to promote his new memoir, "Decision Points," and the groundbreaking of his new library in Dallas have generated mostly positive press.
True, Bush bests Obama by only one point - 47-46. But the idea that he's even in the ballpark is a testament to the American people's capacity for nostalgia and Barack Obama's incompetence.