The legacy of George W. Bush has weighed heavily on the Republican Party, casting a large shadow over GOP candidates in the past two national elections.
But is that toxicity beginning to wane? For the first time in recent memory, a Republican candidate is actively embracing the tenure of George W. Bush, citing the economic growth up through 2006 as a template of governance he'd like to pursue.
On Saturday, former Virginia Attorney General and current gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell delivered the following remarks at the Boys State Convention in Lynchburg, Virginia.
"President Bush put in a ten-year tax-cut on everything from the death tax to capital gains tax and it was followed by an unprecedented period of economic recovery and economic growth," he said. "In fact, it almost overheated the economy through about 2006. So, I think that's the way you stimulate business. And that's the kind of governor that I'm going to be to reduce those impediments to entrepreneurship, to let small businesses grow and thrive and create some opportunity."
To be fair, it is hard to draw a larger trend from one snippet of one speech of one candidate for what is still considered a Republican state (though increasingly a political toss-up). Additionally, McDonnell has praised Bush in the past. But as the economic environment becomes increasingly owned by the Obama administration it will be curious to see not just how frequently Republicans whack the president on this front, but how willing they are to tie themselves to the early Bush years. Will McDonnell be the exception or the norm?