As the 2012 race heats up, Republicans are constantly promising to uphold the legacy Ronald Reagan. Reagan said this, did this, though that, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. The most recent to reach for the cloak fo Regan was Jon Huntsman just kicked off his campaign exactly where Reagan once stood 22 years ago to announce his own candidacy. But what about that more recent two-term Republican president? What about poor ol' George W. Bush? It seems like Republicans would prefer we'd forget about him. And it appears Bush is heeding their wishes, because even as huge events that recalled his presidency made the news--aside from a notable souffle dinner--he's largely stayed out of the national spotlight.
After the second Republican primary debate--the first one with frontrunner Mitt Romney--The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza argued that "there was a clear loser last night: George W. Bush. While Barack Obama may have been the person most vilified from the podiums of the seven Republican candidates in New Hampshire, it was Bush and his legacy that suffered the most." Meanwhile, a guy not on that stage that night--but whom many Republicans dissatisfied with the current 2012 field hope will jump in--was Bush's successor as Texas governor, Rick Perry. Perry has a good record on jobs, support from social conservatives, and nice hair, but The Washington Post's Aaron Blake cautions that, with his accent and mannerisms, he might be too "Bush-y." Perry's strategist David Carney--who just quit the Newt Gingrich campaign--brushed aside that criticism, saying, "The Bush haters need to get a new hobby."