Vanity Fair has taken a brief respite from fawning over beautiful celebrities, John F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy’s various drug-addled relatives to notify America that George W. Bush has become a hipster icon.
The 966-word piece by Juli Weiner observes that Bush was once “uncool, lame, establishment, square, and odious, etc.” to millions of Americans who longed for hope and change. For many left-leaning people of a certain age, the perception of the 43rd president as a “war-lovin’” “Connecticut cowboy” could be permanent.
However, Weiner swears, younger Americans have begun to assess the man much differently.
“Bush has, quietly and wholly, ingeniously refashioned himself into an Internet-friendly, cat-loving, ironic-hat-wearing painter-cum-Instagram savant,” she writes. “Lately, George W. Bush is a hipster icon, and the Internet, unofficial Fourth Estate of the youth of America, is totally buying it.”
As an example of Bush’s media-savvy ploys, Weiner cites the president’s amazingly kind and supportive letter to Alabama Crimson Tide kicker Cade Foster, who missed three field goals during a gut-wrenching loss to arch-rival Auburn—and who wears jersey #43. (RELATED: George W Bush wrote adorable letter to Alabama kicker)
The Vanity Fair writer also discusses the vexing problem for liberals that is the former president’s new-found hobby of painting. Weiner plays coolly rational, but she seems genuinely pained to note that Americans — including art critics — have greeted Bush’s artwork with a mixture of praise and jovial amusement.
At the same time, she seems resigned to Bush’s reemergence as someone who these kids today think is cool.
“[E]ven those old enough to remember hating Bush are wise enough to recognize that they are no longer the deciders (as it were) of what’s hip,” she advises. “Whereas U2 once worried about Bush getting his uncool all over their cache, Bono smiled as he posed with the ex-president at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.”