Former President George W. Bush's reputation was in a sorry state when he left the White House in 2009, but the Republican National Committee is betting five-plus years of President Obama have been enough to change that.
In a new fundraising pitch timed to coincide with Mr. Bush's July 6 birthday, the RNC is selling t-shirts emblazoned with a picture of the former president next to the caption "I MISS W."
"President George W. Bush led our nation through some of the most challenging moments of our nation's history -- and we miss him and his leadership," explains a page on the RNC's website where users can buy the shirt. "By sporting this comfortable, classic, American-made tee, you can share our message and help us elect principled conservative leaders to office."
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted a link to the fundraising pitch on Saturday, complaining that Mr. Obama "thinks our country should lead from behind," and urging people to "Restore GOP leadership & get this t-shirt."
Though Mr. Bush's approval ratings have climbed steadily northward since he left office, he remains among the most unpopular presidents since World War II, according to a Quinnipiac poll released this week.
The only figure who eclipsed Bush in that question? Mr. Obama, who was named by 33 percent as the worst recent president.