In a classic example of a Friday news dump, it was announced that former President George W. Bush will not attend the Republican National Convention next month in Tampa.
“President Bush was grateful for the invitation to the Republican National Convention,” wroted Bush spokesman Freddy Ford in an e-mail to POLITICO. “He supports Governor Romney and wants him to succeed. President Bush is confident that Mitt Romney will be a great President. But he’s still enjoying his time off the political stage and respectfully declined the invitation to go to Tampa.”
While it’s seemingly not a good thing to see a former President skip a political convention, it may not be a bad thing for this President to skip this convention.
There has been a Bush or a Clinton on the ballot, and therefore at the political conventions, for more than a generation. At some point, the country needs a break. Unfortunately, because he is still so popular, Bill Clinton likely won’t fade away like Bush. But wouldn’t it be nice to go through an election cycle without Hillary or Poppy or W. in the limelight?
Another reality is that having 43 around distracts voters from Mitt Romney’s efforts to blame the nation’s economic issues on 44.
Although voters are increasingly displeased with President Obama’s handling of the economy, polling finds most Americans still think George W. Bush is responsible for the nation’s dismal financial state.
According to a Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of those surveyed say Bush is responsible for the “current condition” of the economy, compared to just 27 percent who blame Obama. Among self-described independent voters, a key 2012 voting bloc, the number shifts slightly: 49 percent point the finger at the former GOP president, while 24 percent blame Obama.
With those kind of numbers, do you really think Romney wants Bush around to remind voters about what it was like the last time a Republican was in The White House?