Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has announced formally that he is interested in "actively explore(ing) the possibility" of running for President, which is in essence, a non-announcement as we already knew he was doing so. This has the the chattering classes chattering, and so as not to be left out, here's a little chatter from me.
1. Jeb Bush was generally considered a good conservative governor of a large, key, state. It has been some years since he last ran for office (2002, I believe), but back in the late nineties, even within the Bush Family HE was considered the one most likely to someday be President. I stress to you my own perception that Bush was INDEED considered a conservative when he governed--not by the standards many now apply to that term--but by the standards that were au currant when he was in office. Stories such as this one are out there for the reading, ones written in Florida by people who remember, and they don't see Jeb as anything but a conservative.
2. But...a lot has changed since he last ran for office (2002). For one, his brother was President, twice, and he governed in a way that turned many people off (certainly not me). Additionally, Jeb has taken some positions on major issues that rankle many conservatives. His advocacy of "common core" is front and center, but as this article demonstrates clearly, what many people object to have been what local school districts have done (unwisely) in implementing common core. Common core has NEVER been a curriculum...rather, it was supposed to be a set of standards. These silly math problems we've seen throughout the media are NOT common core, so much as they are the work of ridiculous educators seeking to alter the pedagogical landscape. Additionally, Jeb's stance on immigration ("an act of love") has many conservatives in a tizzy. Here's a recent look at what he's said on the subject, and as many of you have already guessed, I'm ok with this approach. Where I am not open to compromise is in sequencing. I want the borders closed. Period. End of story. And I want us to figure out how to integrate those here already--illegally--who have legitimate roots and lives here.
3. I'm just not sure how likable Jeb is. I haven't been in his company, but I don't get overwhelming vibes that suggest I'd like to spend a few hours in a goose blind with the guy. I want my President to be earnest and serious....but I also want to believe he/she is capable of laughter and joy. I haven't seen this side of Jeb.
4. I'm not sure he's burning with the fire to be President. And in order to be elected President, I
believe one needs this.
5. The "not another Bush" thing. Here's how I feel about that--I have no objection to family political dynasties in the United States, because WE ultimately are making the choices, not the dynasts. That said, I will only tolerate this argument from Republicans or those likely to vote Republican. You can't whine about dynasties while driving your Prius with a "Ready for Hillary" bumper sticker on it.
Would I support Jeb as the GOP nominee? Without reservation. For those interested, here is my listing in priority order of those Republicans mentioned as potential Presidential candidates. My criteria are: 1) the degree of affinity I have for the idea of this person being President and 2) the sense I have that they can be elected to the office. Also, I have sorta picked and chosen among those I think are considering the run.
1. Mitt Romney--by far my favorite.
2. Paul Ryan
3. John Kasich
4. Jeb Bush
5. Scott Walker
6. Bobby Jindal
7. Mike Pence
8. Chris Christie
9. Rand Paul
10. Ted Cruz
What are you folks thinking? What would your list be? What would your list be using MY criteria?