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George W. Bush's Image Featured in Democrat's Senate Campaign Ad

 June 8, 2024

Images of former President George W. Bush have recently been seen in a Michigan Senate race campaign ad for Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin.

This bipartisan approach reflects Slotkin's apparent aim to secure support from a broad spectrum of voters, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Slotkin, who has represented Michigan's 8th Congressional District since 2018, is known for her bipartisan-leaning strategy. Her district includes Lansing and the northwestern Detroit exurbs. Now, she is running to replace retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in a race considered critical for both parties.

Slotkin's Bipartisan Strategy

The Michigan Senate race is vital for the Democrats, who need this victory to maintain their 51-49 Senate majority. Meanwhile, Republicans view Michigan as a key pickup opportunity in a favorable Senate map. Michigan's status as a swing state makes it critical for both presidential campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Featuring Bush in her campaign ad reflects Slotkin's centrist approach and highlights the partial rehabilitation of Bush's public image since his presidency ended. Although Bush was deeply unpopular when he left office, he has since remained largely silent, focusing on painting rather than public political statements.

Bush's Image and Slotkin's Background

Slotkin, a former Defense Department and CIA official, served three tours in Iraq and had assignments in both the Bush and Obama administrations. This background adds to her bipartisan credentials. Despite Bush not being viewed as a beloved GOP elder statesman due to changing party dynamics under Trump, his image in the ad underscores Slotkin's appeal to moderate voters.

Mike Rogers, Bush’s former supporter and probable GOP nominee, has shifted to align with Trump’s nationalist-populist platform. Trump has endorsed Rogers in the Senate race, praising his military background and support for "America First" policies.

Rogers' Shift to Trumpism

Rogers originally won his House seat in 2000 in the closest race of that year and supported Bush-era policies, including the Iraq invasion. However, he is now a critic of federal law enforcement and the FBI, claiming they target Trump politically. “I don’t recognize this justice system,” Rogers said in his September 2023 Senate announcement video.

Bush has assisted other Republicans, such as Larry Hogan, in their political endeavors but maintains little public involvement. His inclusion in Slotkin's ad is a notable exception, emphasizing her efforts to appeal to a wide voter base.

Political Landscape and Campaign Strategies

Trump's endorsement of Rogers highlights the former president's continued influence within the GOP. “Mike will work closely with me to enact our America First Policies,” Trump wrote. “He will tirelessly fight to Secure the Border, Stop Inflation, Grow the Economy, Strengthen our Military / Veteran Support, and Protect and Defend our always under siege Second Amendment.”

In contrast, Slotkin's campaign features Bush in photos with both Bush and Obama in the Oval Office, showcasing her bipartisan appeal. This strategy is particularly significant in a state like Michigan, where voters are known for their independent streak.

Slotkin's Military and Government Experience

Slotkin's experience in the military and government, serving under both Bush and Obama, positions her as a candidate with a unique bipartisan perspective. Her deployment to Iraq for three tours and her work in national security further enhance her credentials in the eyes of voters.

Meanwhile, Rogers' alignment with Trump's platform reflects a broader trend within the GOP. His criticism of federal law enforcement and the FBI resonates with Trump's base, which views these institutions with suspicion.

Bipartisanship in a Polarized Environment

The use of Bush’s image in Slotkin's campaign underscores the evolving dynamics of bipartisan politics. It highlights how former political figures can be recontextualized in contemporary campaigns to appeal to a broader electorate.

Bush’s relative silence in the political arena since leaving office has allowed his image to be partially rehabilitated. This shift is leveraged by Slotkin to connect with centrist and independent voters who may be disillusioned with the current partisan divide.

Conclusion: Critical Senate Race

The Michigan Senate race, featuring Bush's surprising appearance in a Democrat's campaign ad, illustrates the complex interplay of bipartisan strategies and shifting political landscapes.

As Slotkin and Rogers vie for the seat, their respective approaches reflect broader trends within their parties and the critical importance of appealing to a wide voter base in a swing state.


In a surprising twist, former President George W. Bush appears in a Michigan Senate race campaign ad for likely Democratic nominee Rep. Elissa Slotkin, highlighting her bipartisan strategy.

This move underscores the critical nature of the Michigan Senate race, with both parties seeing it as vital for their agendas in a pivotal swing state. Slotkin's bipartisan credentials and Rogers' alignment with Trump set the stage for a fiercely contested election.