25 April 2013, 18:24

Bush family is making a comeback: in bronze and in person

On Thursday, George W. Bush Presidential Center – home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute – is to be dedicated in Dallas, Texas. The ceremonial event has not only brought to memory the past events of his largely unsuccessful presidency, but also gave rise to new speculations on the future of one of the most influential dynasties in the U.S. modern history. The prospects of George W.'s younger brother Jeb running for (if not winning) presidency in 2016 now seem more than real.

For more than four years that have passed since George W. Bush left office, his presidency has been looked at largely through critical eyes. In fact, most of the electoral flops suffered by the Grand Old Party in 2008 and 2012 can be ascribed to George W.'s legacy.

But politics in general and American politics in particular are very often characterized by the so called "pendulum phenomenon". The principal feature of the latter is that the farther left the pendulum sways at this moment, the farther right it will sway later, and vice versa.

"The Change We Can Believe In" was the slogan adopted by the present inhabitant of the White House back in 2008. It worked – and it did not matter at that time that the slogan itself (as well as all Barack Obama's pre-election promises) did not contain any positive program, but were entirely based on the old communist principle "to make a clean slate of the past" and "change the world's foundations" (quotes from 'The Internationale').

Now it looks that the world was not so eager to change its foundations, and Brarack Obama in many ways has turned into a replica of the president whom he himself repeatedly accused of putting two wars "on a credit card", leading the country away "from our values" and "crashing the economy". The two wars have been augmented by an open aggression against Libya and at least two pending wars against Syria and Iran. The state of economy is no better (to put it mildly) than it was during George W. Bush's tenure. As for the values, after publicly endorsing same-sex marriages, Obama should probably totally forget the very word "value".

And the new movement of the pendulum has already become visible. A new poll, published in a couple of days ago by The Washington Post, shows that Bush is re-emerging "with a better public image than when he left Washington more than four years ago". He's getting more popular with every passing year. If at the end of his second term, his approval rating among all adults was 33 per cent positive / 66 per cent negative, now it is almost fifty-fifty – at 47 per cent positive / 50 per cent negative, and equals that of the current president.

This can hardly be ascribed only to the publicity surrounding the opening of Bush's memorial library and Presidential Center, which will host two bronze statues – of George W. Bush and his father, 41st President of the U.S. George H.W. Bush.

By and large, this is the reaction of the U.S. public to the current state of affairs.

And it is hardly accidentally, that against such background, George W. in a recent TV interview publicly encouraged his younger brother, former Florida Governor John Ellis (more commonly known as "Jeb") Bush to run for presidency in 2016.

Indeed, if the Clinton family is definitely planning a comeback, why shouldn't another influential dynasty do the same? His candidacy may be quite handy for the GOP torn between staunch conservatives and those willing to compromise. The question arises, though, whether the 2016 campaign with siblings of the two dynasties will not turn into a battle of freaks, but maybe this is what the American public, fed up with constant battles of "dull and boring" really needs.

It is probably too early to predict the course of the 2016 campaign (less so the outcome of it). But one useful advice is already here – the new slogan for whoever runs from whichever party may be "The Change We Should Not Have Believed In".

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