DALLAS, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- If former U.S. President George W. Bush succeeds in rehabilitating his image, it will be because he hasn't been partisan, observers say.
Bush's Jan. 16 appearance at the White House with President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton to appeal for Haiti earthquake relief aid was the first sign his image is getting a makeover after leaving the White House last year amid very low poll numbers, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The newspaper quoted analysts saying that if Bush's popularity does rebound, it will be because he hasn't joined former Vice President Dick Cheney and senior adviser Karl Rove in criticizing Obama.
"It can do nothing but help him and does nothing but add to his stature when compared to his vice president," Bruce Buchanan of the University of Texas at Austin told the Morning News. "It does begin to put him in the light of other former presidents who, the longer they're out of office, are looked at as having tried to do their best."
"By becoming somewhat invisible, he's not there to remind people what they didn't like about his policies and the consequences of his policies," added Glenn Smith, a longtime Democratic operative in Austin.