The Bush Dynasty Won’t Die

by Dish Staff


It sure sounds like Jeb Bush is going to throw his hat in the ring:

The big political news over the weekend is that it looks like Republican Jeb Bush is moving closer and closer to a presidential bid in 2016 — after announcing he would release 250,000 emails from his days as Florida governor, as well as release a new book. (You’re usually not taking these actions if you’ve decided AGAINST a presidential run, right?) Folks, this isn’t someone simply dipping his toes into the presidential waters; it’s someone who’s bouncing up and down on the diving board. More than anything else, Jeb’s moves are a signal to Republican donors and campaign staffers that he’s going to probably run.

Dougherty is against the idea:

Nominating Jeb Bush is an implied admission that the GOP cannot put together a post-Reagan presidential coalition without this one family.

It would mean advertising that the party that just put together an impressive, across-the-board electoral comeback in 2014, and that has performed unusually well in gubernatorial races several cycles running, is bereft of talent and must rely on an older brand — one that people tired of twice. Republicans should reject these assumptions about their party, no matter how desperate eight years out of the White House has made them.

The last few years have been ones of experimentation for the party. There is the libertarian-inflected Rand Paul; there are Chris Christies and Scott Walkers who promise dramatic confrontations with public bureaucracy. There is the family-friendly wonkery of Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. If people want to try Bushism again, they should at least have the decency to demand that Marco Rubio’s face be stretched over that political zombie’s head.

Larison reminds everyone that Jeb is as hawkish as his brother:

Everything Bush has said publicly on the subject confirms that he agrees with his party’s hard-liners on most issues, and he has never said anything that would suggest the opposite. As a domestic policy “centrist,” Bush’s ability to break with the party significantly on foreign policy is greatly reduced. Like many relative moderates, Bush overcompensates for his “centrism” on domestic policy by endorsing failed and confrontational policies abroad. For their part, quite a few movement conservatives are willing to forgive all kinds of heterodox views on many other issues so long as the “moderate” candidate fully embraces hawkish interventionism. That probably won’t be enough to win the nomination, but it will make the quality of the debate during the nomination contest that much worse.

Allahpundit doesn’t trust Jeb:

Is he running because he has a conservative vision, the odd Common Core or immigration heresy aside? Or is he running because the wingnuts are threatening to wrest the nomination from the donor class and someone with clout needs to step up and punch them in the face? Why would any tea partier turn out in the general election for a guy who took that approach with them, however successfully, in the primaries?

Jennifer Rubin disagrees with this framing:

The right wing, at least its loudest spokesman and crankiest bloggers, have decided Bush is going to snub them, run against the right and imitate Jon Huntsman, who seemed to delight in insulting conservatives. I have explained why I think this is mistaken. However, the challenge for Bush is to define what it means to be “conservative,” and not accept the notion that conservatism demands shutting down the government, rejecting a pathway to legalization (the MSM and right-wing often mischaracterize him as pushing a pathway to citizenship) and eschewing school standards. (Again, Bush contrary to the right-wing hecklers supports Common Core — or higher individualized standards).

And Husna Haq shows how much of a drawback Jeb’s last name could be:

While 73 percent of CEOs may favor a Bush candidacy, many Americans have indicated that they’re ready for fresh candidates and names – even Jeb’s own mother, Barbara Bush, who famously said last year that America “had enough Bushes.” An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates that two out of three Americans (69 percent) say they agree with Barbara Bush.

(Photo: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2014. By Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)