By Jon Friedman | Jon Friedmans Media Matrix June 11, 2013 at 5:40PM
It's official: Hell has frozen over. How else could you explain a popularity surge for former U.S. President George W. Bush?
Yes, it seems, the nation is warming up to him.
For the first time since 2005, more Americans have a favorable opinion of Bush than an unfavorable feeling, according to a new Gallup poll which was conducted before the news broke last week about the U.S. spying program.
"As time goes by, presidents generally see their numbers improve the longer they are out of office," CNN.com noted. See the CNN story: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/11/poll-youre-starting-to-remember-bush-fondly/?hpt=hp_...
The Gallup poll, circulated on Tuesday, noted that 49% have a positive view opinion of Bush, who won presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, while 46% feel the opposite, CNN reported.
This is striking news. Bush left office with the ghost of a withering U.S. economy and twin, endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dogging him and tarnishing his White House legacy. At the time, it seemed highly improbable,to say the least, that Americans could have anything but cold feelings toward him.
It seemed that Bush, who has taken a low profile since leaving Washington for his native Texas, was going to be consigned to history books as a failed president. But remember what your mother used to tell you: Time heals all wounds. It may well be true.
In January, 2009, the 43rd president left office with a favorable rating of only 40% and an unfavorable one of 59%. Two months later, the gap expanded, to 35% and 63%, respectively.
Bush is getting wider support form Democrats that he had in January 2009 (24% vs.10%). CNN pointed out that Republicans observed a 14 percentage-point climb, with 84% now possessing a positive view of Dubya. His biggest jump has come from independent voters since January 2009, 46% vs. 29%, respectively.
Gallup polled 1,529 adults by phone from June 1 to June 4.