Former President George W. Bush's legacy has loomed large over the presidential campaign -- The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman dubbed him the "Voldemort of American Politics" -- but thus far he has stayed almost mute. His only public comment has been four words -- "I'm for Mitt Romney" -- to a reporter at a Washington conference as the elevator doors closed.
He recently sat down for an interview with the Hoover Institution's Peter Robinson that largely was a tour d'horizon of world events, but he did make another brief comment on the presidential election.
"I'm interested in politics. I'm a supporter of Mitt Romney. I hope he does well. But you know, he can do well without me," he said.
Indeed. Romney wants to make the election a referendum on President Barack Obama's handling of the economy. However, more voters ascribe the blame for the lousy economy to Bush than Obama. An appearance with Bush would only remind voters of the largely out-of-sight ex-president.
Romney praised Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, for saving the economy -- but only to say why Obama was not responsible for bringing the country back from the brink.
"Given the environment today with all the blogs and this that and the other," Bush said before trailing off a bit. "It's a pretty unattractive metaphor, but I said I crawled out of the swamp and I'm not crawling back in."