David Jackson, USA TODAY
Former President George W. Bush is keeping up with the presidential race, and isn't crazy about what he sees from Republican candidate Mitt Romney, says a new report.
In a long profile of brother Jeb Bush,New York magazine reports that George W. "gets a regular drip feed of political news from (former aide) Karl Rove and others -- he's been critical of Romney's campaign and skeptical of his chances."
There is no elaboration.
The former president -- who is an issue in the campaign; President Obama often cites the bad economy and two wars he inherited from Bush -- is also "living as invisibly as possible," reports Joe Hagan in New York magazine.
In addition to golf and Texas Rangers baseball games, Bush also has a new hobby, the article says: Painting, "making portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes. 'I find it stunning that he has the patience to sit and take instruction and paint,' says a former aide."
New York also says of Bush 43:
"He meets once a month with the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University to review the latest policy projects and occasionally escapes to Africa, where this summer he led a delegation bringing attention to the epidemics of cervical cancer. There, he finds the adoration and respect he doesn't often find outside Texas.
The most unpopular president in recent political history, W. left a record of big-government spending and intractable wars that remains difficult even for allies to defend. ...
W. remains convinced history will vindicate him. But the Bush family is well aware of the damage to their future prospects. Perhaps none more than Jeb, the new custodian of the family brand. 'Jeb is highly pained,' says a friend. 'He is so loyal. Jeb knows some of the missteps, but Jeb is profoundly impacted by the kind of criticism he's taken about his brother. It's over the top.'"