George W. Bush and Dick Cheney — Liberal Darlings?

William S. Bike
3 min readMar 30, 2022

History and the media provide a surprise — but not unusual — makeover

Historians and the media are treating George W. Bush and Dick Cheney much differently than they did 20 years ago. (White House Photo Office, David Bohrer.)

By William S. Bike

The recent rehabilitation of the images of former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in the media is not unusual in American history.

The media and historians often take a contrarian second look at officials years after they have left office and, since these officials no longer are in the white-hot glare of day-to-day politics, decide that the common opinion about those officials was not necessarily the correct one.

When President Dwight Eisenhower left office in 1961, the media and historians ranked him as one of the worst presidents in history, because he spent eight years being nowhere near as activist as his immediate predecessors, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. But it was not long before they changed their minds, seeing that Eisenhower’s policies created the boom of the 1950s, which is now considered America’s golden era. So now, Ike is ranked among the better presidents.

Same with President Jimmy Carter, who was considered so terrible in 1980 that he lost the election in a landslide — rare for an incumbent president. But not only has his post-presidential work helping the downtrodden with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity…



William S. Bike

Author of "Winning Political Campaigns," a how-to book on all aspects of political campaigning, and commentator on history and baseball.