Tags: George W. Bush | Mark McKinnon | George W Bush

Strategist Mark McKinnon: Bush's Image Improving

By    |   Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 02:17 PM

Americans are already viewing former President George W. Bush differently than they did when he left office six years ago, and his chief media strategist, Mark McKinnon, says that historians will come to appreciate him even more.

"Time, but more importantly, context is important, said McKinnon, co-founder of the bipartisan group No Labels, said in an interview for BizPacReview.

"Voters had enormous expectations in President Obama, largely because he promised them the moon, and he couldn’t deliver. Now they see how tough a job it has been for him."

And as more people realize how tough occupying the Oval Office is, said McKinnon, the more they'll appreciate Bush and his presidency.

The former president's ratings are already climbing since the days when he left office, when only a third of Americans approved of him.

According to a Gallup Poll earlier this summer, Bush's approval rating is up 11 points among Republicans since he left office, and 15 points with Democrats.

Meanwhile, McKinnon said that while some believe there could be difficulty in electing another Republican president because of demographic trends that favor Democrats, it is still possible that the GOP will seat another president and Bush won't be the nation's last Republican leader.

"The bigger problem is that the Republican Party’s message has not adapted to the changing demographics," said McKinnon. "Instead of delivering a 'compassionate conservative' message, the GOP has been instead offering a “caustic conservative” message which has been turning off the people we need to win a majority.

McKinnon refused to discuss conversations he's had with Bush, and said he is "not by nature a complainer" and does not compare the media's treatment of President Barack Obama compared to its treatment of him.

"If anything, I would suggest that he understands how difficult the job is and empathizes with anyone who sits in the Oval Office, no matter their party," said McKinnon.

But looking ahead, McKinnon said if he was serving as chief media strategist for a Republican candidate in 2016 against a Hillary Clinton campaign, his candidate would face a tough battle, as she will be "formidable" and offer experience, which Obama lacked.

"The best shot for the GOP will be to offer a real contrast, which would be a fresh face from outside the Beltway, likely a governor," said McKinnon.

He also would not speak for Bush's opinion after it's been pointed out that he warned of strife in Iraq if troops were prematurely withdrawn.

"I think most Americans, myself included, certainly believe President Bush was prophetic and miss his steely resolve," his former strategist concluded.

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Americans are already viewing former President George W. Bush differently than they did when he left office six years ago, and his chief media strategist, Mark McKinnon, says that historians will come to appreciate him even more.
Mark McKinnon, George W Bush
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2014-17-13
Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 02:17 PM
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