GIVING THANKS…. President Obama is back at work in the White House after a week overseas, but MSNBC’s First Read has a parting thought on the success of the president’s trek abroad. (thanks to reader B.H. for the heads-up)

*** Something to thank Bush for: Turning back to Obama’s recently concluded international trip, we’d like to make this additional point: While the Obama team regularly likes to blame the Bush administration for the economic problems it’s dealing with on a daily — if not hourly — basis, Obama would not have had such a great, arguably historic, debut on the world stage without Bush. The low bar Bush set internationally made this trip that much easier for Obama, and gives the new president, at least in the short term, a stronger hand than he would normally have had.

Is this tongue in cheek? I’m honestly not sure. The argument here seems to be that President Obama should credit former President Bush, at least in part, for his success last week on the international stage. If Bush weren’t so reviled around the world, the thinking goes, Obama wouldn’t have been so well received by global leaders.

Obama looked good, in other words, because Bush looked bad. It’s only fair, then, that the current president credit the former president for making it so easy to show some international leadership. If Bush hadn’t failed so miserably, Obama couldn’t succeed.

Somehow, I don’t imagine this will work its way into the Republicans’ talking points.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.