Jeb Bush says he wants to show a bit of “his heart” to distinguish himself from his well known political family, then talked of meeting Columba — his wife of 41 years — in Mexico when he was just 17.
From there, the potential candidate delivered a polished, professional speech, for sure, but at times it seemed almost too much so – to the point of being canned. If it was meant to connect with voters, he didn’t seem to do the trick.
The first few minutes of Bush’s speech to the New Hampshire Republican Party’s “First in the Nation” leadership summit were clearly calculated to put something of a distinct human face on the latest member of the Bush family to seek the presidency. How effective it was at the beginning of what was a rather formulaic speech remains to be seen.
Jeb then mentioned his having “signed the front of a paycheck.” He cites significant business experience in Florida real estate before being elected governor of Florida as perhaps his best preparation for higher office. His pace was steady to the point of being unrelenting as he ran through a litany of accomplishments as governor, all of them themed along the lines of conservative reform.
At times it seemed as though the quickly paced speech of platitudes may have risked leaving the audience feeling talked at, as opposed to talked to.
When asked if his candidacy might be seen as something of a “coronation,” given his presumed endorsement by the GOP establishment Bush seemed almost dismissive when he smirked; however, he does have a point. Most see the race as wide open, so the question was something of a no win for him, as its premise was flawed.
To win, “I will have to earn it. I’ll share my heart. I’ll share my ideas. I’ll share my record,” he said.
When asked his position on same-sex marriage, Bush referenced a pending Supreme Court decision that may change the ground underneath the issue, then went on to voice his own personal feelings. “I’m for traditional marriage,” his position being “informed by his faith,” said Jeb. He cited it as part of the clue that has traditionally kept American society intact.
Finally, Bush shifted off the issue by saying the GOP must “unite behind broader issues,” and not tear itself apart to win.
When asked of Common Core, he cited America’s 80 percent graduation rate with less than half of those considered college or career ready — saying we must do better. He did come out against federal control of K-12 education and felt that, while standards need to be raised, it should come at the state level.
In a final criticism of Barack Obama as all but unpresidential, Jeb said Obama pushes people down who disagree with him to make himself look better.