39 photos that show why everyone misses George W. Bush

Former President George W. Bush keeps covered under the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

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Former President George W. Bush keeps covered under the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.
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REUTERS/Rick Wilking

In the era of President Donald Trump, former President George W. Bush doesn’t look so bad to many Republicans and Democrats.

When Bush left office in 2009, he was the politician that everyone in America loved to hate. His approval rating was at 33% – the lowest of any outgoing president since Richard Nixon – and just 24% of Americans approved of the way he had handled the economic collapse.

But things started turning around for Bush, who turned 71 this week, after he left office – even more so since Trump’s election.

According to a Washington Post ABC poll from 2013, 47% of Americans said they approve of Bush’s eight years in office, which was a seven-year high for the much-maligned former President.

And even more recently, a C-SPAN survey of presidential historians showed Bush making gains in the rankings of presidents. The survey, from earlier this year, showed Bush ranked at 33rd out of 44. When C-SPAN conducted the same poll in 2009, Bush was ranked at 36.

While those marks still aren’t stellar, Bush appears to be having a new moment in the American imagination. From his enigmatic shower paintings to his reported profanity-laced remarks after Trump’s inauguration, the 43rd president has shown off his softer, folksier side since leaving office, reminding everyone why they liked him in the first place – and even miss him a little bit now.

Grace Wyler contributed to this report.


That time he kissed Oprah.


Or anyone else, for that matter.

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Reuters

His Twin Day with Vladimir Putin in Hanoi.

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Reuters

And in Chile.

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Reuters

And when he bro’d out with Nicholas Sarkozy.


And all the other times he got in costume.

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Reuters

Or played with swords.

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Reuters

When he chest-bumped an Air Force cadet.


BOOM!


And then made this face.


All the times he rubbed the heads of baseball players.

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Reuters

When he pretended to be a conductor.

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Reuters

His soft-shoe dancing…

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Reuters

Ta-da!

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Reuters

When this happened.

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Reuters

That time when he had to pee at the UN General Assembly.

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Reuters

That time he tried to escape reporters but couldn’t get out the door.

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Reuters

His trouble with leis.

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Reuters

And babies.

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Reuters

And umbrellas.

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Reuters

And German babies.

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Reuters

That time he was violated by a turkey named Liberty.

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Reuters

And every other time he pardoned a turkey.


When he wore this.

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Reuters

And when he did this.


When he gave his dog a White House blog.

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White House Archives

And all of his other lovable moments with Barney.


When he knew exactly what to do with the Easter Bunny.


But wasn’t quite sure about this monster.


His moment of zen with the Dalai Lama.

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Reuters

That creepy Angela Merkel shoulder rub.

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Courtesy of CBS News

And all his other cozy moments with the German Chancellor.


His first dance with Laura at the Inaugural Balls.

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Reuters

When he got his groove on.

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Reuters

When he got his groove on in Africa.

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Reuters

When he photobombed the Clintons.

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Reuters

When he pranked Karl Rove.

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Reuters

And all those times he got saucy.

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Reuters

And who could forget when Bush struggled with his poncho during Trump’s rainy inauguration.

Former President George W. Bush keeps covered under the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

caption
Former President George W. Bush keeps covered under the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.
source
REUTERS/Rick Wilking