In the Village, W is still the steely-eyed commander who won the Battle of 9/11 with his bullhorn.
My guess is that there’s lots of Republicans who view W as an idiot and a failure now, even if they held him up as a genius when he was president. Every mention of W hurts Jeb! despite what Halperin and Politico think (this screenshot is from the NYT).
I think Atrios is right that the true Dear Leader phase only lasted five years. But establishment media never really moved on.