Avoiding W to Get the W

by John Vuotto

Widener University Political Science Major

In politics it is not uncommon for a candidate to try to associate him or herself with prestigious members of their party. This happened in 2008 when comparisons were made between, then, Senator Obama and President John F. Kennedy. Former President, Bill Clinton, also accompanied Senator Obama at points in the campaign.

There was also a very clear negative association game played by the Obama administration. They successfully made John McCain out to look like a 3rd term for President George W. Bush.

That negative association with George W. Bush seems to have carried over into 2012. Throughout the Republican presidential primaries, the candidates have tried to make themselves look like the most conservative candidate. Often, the candidates mention the name of one of the most popular Republican presidents in recent time; Ronald Reagan. The numerous candidates, especially Newt Gingrich, have mentioned Reagan several times during the debates.

While the attempted association with Reagan remains popular, there has been little, if any, mention of George W. Bush. The Bush presidency was no doubt controversial but it is strange that a former Republican President who served two terms has not had more influence in the current race. It seems the candidates are trying to avoid any association with Bush because his name still turns a lot of potential voters off, especially moderates and Independents.


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