If you believe everything old can be new again, then you’ll appreciate the Bush family, this time in the person of Jeb Bush, mapping out the same old plan that gave Democrat Barack Obama two terms in the White House and, in terms of presidential politics, has the GOP looking more like yesterday’s news than it ever has.
And that’s saying something. But no matter, Jeb is more interested in what failed presidential candidate Sen John McCain has to say.
“Lock up the center and let them fight it out on the right,” Mr. McCain said.
Forget genuine leadership, least of all anything anyone would ever confuse with ‘bold.’ No one could ever accuse Jeb of being that. He is plotting a course of perhaps warm fuzzies and pastel colors, even more watered down by the passage of time and the aging of a political family that seems to think it was, perhaps not to the manor, but to the White House born for sure.
This below from Ronald Reagan in 1975 remains as the antithesis of what Bush family politics represents. It’s not a philosophy truly interested in leading anywhere, but simply continuing to manage it along in what far too many on the Right view as its ongoing decline.
I don ‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party”-when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?
But words and thoughts like the above, ones capable of actually building enthusiasm, not only within the base, but across a larger population seemingly always willing to embrace change aren’t what Republicans will be hearing from Jeb, should he run. He may talk a good game, no matter how time-worn, but one would be hard pressed to find anything the least bit different, or exciting about it. And like it, or not, the last eight years have proven that excitement helps win elections. Perhaps John McCain isn’t able to impart that perspective to Jeb Bush, as he seemingly slept through so much of it back in 2008 when he lost to an all but unknown.
Reading what’s likely to be the Bush plan if he opts to jump in and comparing it in large part to what a Democrat might have to offer, from Common Core, to amnesty for illegal immigrants, one is tempted to invoke Hillary Clinton in pondering the difference between Jeb Bush and her … what difference does it make? One can only imagine what type of turn out that message would produce for Jeb. But it’s hard to see how it will derail or even hurt Hillary Clinton much in the end.
In recent weeks, Bush has been talking with Republican leaders and strategists about how to effectively address his support for immigration reform and the education standards known as Common Core. Both positions are anathema to conservative activists, especially in Iowa, home to the nation’s first presidential caucuses.
During a recent speech at a Wall Street Journal event, Bush said anyone running for president should be prepared “to lose the primary to win the general [election] without violating your principles.”
Fred Malek, a longtime Republican fundraiser, said Bush’s remarks indicated that “he’s giving it some serious and deliberate thought.”
In preparation for a campaign, Bush is beginning to disentangle himself from some business relationships, according to two people close to him. Bush, who has worked for Lehman Brothers, Barclays and private-equity firms, also is conducting opposition research on himself to study his vulnerabilities, as Politico first reported.