Run, Jeb, run?

posted at 4:16 pm on February 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

Rich Lowry makes the case. On the obvious objection to dynastic rule:

4) The Bush rehabilitation has begun. George W. Bush is not exactly popular, but two years of Obama have taken the edge off W.-hatred, and he’s risen from the depths of his unpopularity near the end of his presidency. Gallup had a poll in December that had Bush’s approval rating very slightly above President Obama’s. Bush’s book, Decision Points, and the accompanying media tour were successes. In 2008, Jeb’s association with his brother would have been an absolute killer. That’s not true anymore. The controversies that made the Bush years so venomous have faded, and — partly through the miracle of the accelerated news cycle — 2000–2008 already feels somewhat distant.

5) Jeb will still be a Bush in 2016. There’s no doubt that it will always be awkward for Jeb to be the third Bush; it will always have a dynastic feel about it. But that will remain as true in 2016. If Jeb runs in four years, after Obama presumably wins a second term in 2012, he will still be vying to be the third Republican president in a row who’s a Bush. Waiting until 2016 won’t make that fact any less odd.

You could argue that the Bush name will actually be a heavier burden for Jeb five years from now because by then it’ll firmly belong to the past at a moment when the future — Rubio, Jindal, Christie, et al. — is finally ready to hit the presidential stage. So yes, Rich is right that the liability of Jeb’s surname will forever be priced into his political stock. The special problem of nominating him next year, though, is that it would pit him against a guy who was elected in the first place as the Anti-Bush. It would let Obama recast himself as the avatar of “Change” despite having been in office for four years, and it would add new resonance to the Democrats’ eternal talking points about how today’s GOP is no different from the GOP under Bush 43. To some extent voters have tuned them out on that — remember the DNC’s lame Dubya ad before the midterms? — but to hold a big presidential primary free-for-all and end up nominating … George Bush’s brother? It would be an almost physical representation of the left’s accusation that Republicans have no new ideas. That would be greatly unfair to Jeb given his record, but oh well. The ideal match-up for the GOP next year is Obama vs. Not Obama; nominating Jeb would make it Bush’s Brother vs. Not Bush’s Brother. Baaaad choice.

Besides, for all the talk of Jeb’s achievements as governor, wouldn’t he quickly end up being defined by his primary opponents as a de facto RINO and amnesty supporter? I wonder if having him and Huntsman jump in wouldn’t actually end up benefiting Romney indirectly by making him seem less centrist by comparison. Exit question: Per K-Lo, what about Jeb for VP instead? He could appeal to moderates if there’s a “true conservative” at the top of the ticket, and he’d make Florida a lead-pipe cinch to turn red in the general.


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Jeb is as good a prospect – perhaps better – than any other Pub in the field. I’d pull the lever for him, no questions asked. And, for everyone who’s worried about how the libs would spin a Jeb campaign, grow a spine and deal with it. They’ll hate whoever we nominate.

joejm65 on February 7, 2011 at 6:06 PM

PappyD61 on February 7, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I see it that way too. I wouldn’t include Rubio tho’; at least I don’t want to include Rubio if for no other reason than that I prefer my on happy delusions. Sometime fantasy is the only salvation from brute reality. :)

Geochelone on February 7, 2011 at 6:07 PM

PappyD61 on February 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM

How dare you cast dispersions on Babs. She is merely an objective observer. \sarc

Geochelone on February 7, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Jeb is a nice guy and all, but we can do better.

bitsy on February 7, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Riddle me this … what is DIFFERENT about Jeb compared to his father and brother? His father and brother became part of the problem – what evidence is out there to indicate he will somehow be magically different from them?

HondaV65 on February 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Great point. He’s quicker off the cuff, but just as arr ogant and elitist, and just as dismissive of the middle class, as any other Bush, or Democrat out there.

rightwingyahooo on February 7, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Do the Bush’s think they are the only ones who can govern in this country? Please…no more Bushes…

CCRWM on February 7, 2011 at 6:11 PM

In spite of some Tea Party success in firing those ruling-class b#stards, too many voters still encourage contempt by re-electing them. I don’t blame the voters nearly as much as I used to, but many don’t seem to care about anything that doesn’t affect them personally.

Bottom line is a mixed message to the ruling class that lets them to continue their delusion and give Main Street the finger.

Feedie on February 7, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Palin/Reagan (Michael, not the other one)

Yes, kidding. Just like the way it looks on the screen.

And, it seemed like a good day for floating funny balloons at the carnival. We could use a lighter moment. Sort of like the notion of the R party nominating another Bush for the Presidency. That’s a real side splitter!!!

IndieDogg on February 7, 2011 at 6:12 PM

I’ve met Jeb Bush. He’s a decent guy. Best of the Bushes, as far as I can tell. And I have just one word thinking about his candidacy:

“Nnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!”

C’mon people. We’re on the way back. Don’t say silly things like, “Another Bush is what this country needs,” or “Palin can win.” Please or I’m going to have to start drinking.

Pablo Snooze on February 7, 2011 at 6:12 PM

FL BETTER be a lead pipe cinch for the GOP in 2012, or you can forget winning.

I’m not convinced Jeb gets you there. The right in FL hates amnesty too.

We like jobs, that’s why we moved here, but now, there aren’t any.

rightwingyahooo on February 7, 2011 at 6:15 PM

No more Bushes, Clintons, or Kennedys.

deewhybee on February 7, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Sorry, I have been Bush whacked twice it wont happen a third time. I would vote for John Kerry before I would vote for another Bush. I don’t care if it is 2012, 2016 or 2020. The whole Bush family are a bunch of lying pretend conservatives. I don’t want another rino as president. His dad lied, the son said he was compassionate conservative, he was a rino.
Look at what the Bush girls have said, the whole Bush family have tried to ruin the conservative movement and the Republican party, and almost did it.

pwb on February 7, 2011 at 6:17 PM

I’ve met Jeb Bush. He’s a decent guy.
Pablo Snooze on February 7, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Part of the problem is that they think their niceness makes for nice government and it doesn’t work that way.

Feedie on February 7, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Nope.

TN Mom on February 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

RUN JEB RUN….for Senate.

angryed on February 7, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Wouldn’t be prudent. Not at this juncture.

exceller on February 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

It’s really depressing that we even have to have this conversation. This is what Rich Lowry wants to talk about? Jeb Bush for president in 2012? You’ve got to be f-ing kidding me.

It’s like the last 3 or 4 years of political history and the Tea Parties never happened. It’s disheartening.

Django on February 7, 2011 at 6:54 PM

What did Jeb Bush do as governor that was outstanding
leadership?

Amjean on February 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Now or never? I’m taking never.

flyoverland on February 7, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I want a candidate that the lamestreammedia hates from the beginning.

Slowburn on February 7, 2011 at 7:37 PM

I would vote for Dennis Kucinich before I would vote for Jeb Bush.

Murphy9 on February 7, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Not just No but HE-double-hockey-sticks NO!!! No more ruling class elites.

uber-con on February 7, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Let’s start on a Palin dynasty instead.

JimK on February 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM

What did Jeb Bush do as governor that was outstanding leadership?
Amjean on February 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Opposed oil drilling off the coast of Florida. No, wait…

Feedie on February 7, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Let’s start on a Palin dynasty instead.

JimK on February 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM

You know, the temptation here is that compared to Obama, Jeb is looking real good to me. That’s scary because I never wanted to see another Bush anywhere near the WH.

JellyToast on February 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Jeb there is a nice ocean you can run into.

lilium on February 7, 2011 at 8:20 PM

I guess everyone here at HA heard that Jeb said that people who support the enforcement of the Arizona law were stupid. As for me, I would just repeat Jeb’s mama’s statement about Palin: Jeb needs to go back to Florida and stay there.

mobydutch on February 7, 2011 at 8:36 PM

[Recycled from headlines thread]

I like Jeb Bush, and would love to see heads exploding across the country. He was an excellent governor, among other things. I’m just not sure our country can take another place-keeper Republican — the kind who never rolls back what the liberals put in place, just manages it a little better.

Maybe after a conservative president rolls back some of the latest damage, it will be safe to run a moderate Republican again.

Maybe not.

tom on February 7, 2011 at 8:36 PM

tom on February 7, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Probably a good man, but wrong time, wrong place.

Jeb in 2012? No way, Jose’!

petefrt on February 7, 2011 at 8:46 PM

It would be nice to get another Adams after John and John Quincy… until that happens, the Bush family can take a hike.

That family has done more than enough for the Nation, now they can retire aspirations to dynastic rule.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Bush 1 and 2 both helped dig our country into the 14 trillion dollar pit we’re buried in, and the last Bush ran the label into the ground with his illegal alien amnesty push, resulting in well deserved defeat in ’06.

The Bush machine is the epitome of the ruling class Republican establishment that has been rejected by voters.

FloatingRock on February 7, 2011 at 8:53 PM

There will never be another Bush elected to anything significant in our lifetimes.

Luckily.

profitsbeard on February 7, 2011 at 8:54 PM

There will never be another Bush elected to anything significant in our lifetimes.

Luckily.

profitsbeard on February 7, 2011 at 8:54 PM

I pray you’re right, otherwise, it’s another RINO open borders pro amnesty shill.

TxAnn56 on February 7, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Sarah Palin on Fox business channel right now.

technopeasant on February 7, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Stop with the subtle humor Hotair, you have me rolling on the floor. I say never.

steveracer on February 7, 2011 at 9:37 PM

There’s a large stable of Republican candidates coming. Only a fool would feel the need to declare a celebrity favorite this early after what Obama did in ’08.

That’s right, I’m looking at The Won as a positive example. Say what you want about the man, but no one knew his name on Halloween and by Valentine’s Day he was the overall favorite to become President.

There’s no reason why we should have to decide between Palin or whether we prefer our RINO to be flavored Mormon or Evangelical this long before the primaries.

HitNRun on February 7, 2011 at 9:48 PM

The problem with Jeb Bush is his WEAK position on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

In 2012, I want to elect a President who will actually enforce our laws against ILLEGAL immigration.

wren on February 7, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Hel… NO! If he gets in the Senate or Presidency, here comes amnesty for illegals. He has publically said he would give amnesty. Guys, we’ve got to get away from the Republicans and get with the small ‘r’ republicans. Mark Levin, Mike Church, and Andrew Wilkow have the correct answers, but you have to listen to what is being said. Republicans will tell you anything just like the Democrats. User your noodles and see that we are in debt and they can not get us out of it.
Go Demint or Rand Paul! I’m sure there are others, but never a Bush again.

livermush on February 7, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Like the porn industry, I say no more Bush.

BDavis on February 7, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Please, no more talk about Obama winning a second term….And no more RINOS, and that includes Jeb Bush…

theaddora on February 7, 2011 at 10:29 PM

The Democrat media will try to get Jeb nominated. If a Republican must win, they will want it to be someone who won’t expose the crimes of the last 20 years. Another Bush would be compromised and that’s what they want. Clinton’s got the dirt on 41, W’s got the dirt on Clinton, Obama’s got the dirt on W, and they sign on to their predecessors’ mistakes. You’d pretty much need a third party president to blow the lid off the mess and kill the beast.

Buddahpundit on February 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM

What would be his agenda as senator, as many ask for here? What bills would he introduced that would benefit Floridians? Because, if he could not do that as Governor, why the Senate?

‘Sides, he would be a gross verb and adverb if he’s a VP candidate. I wouldn’t bear hearing the end of it.

ProudPalinFan on February 7, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Someone needs to get one of these young guys to run, plain and simple. When I say someone, I mean Sarah Palin.

cpaulus on February 7, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Jeb Bush would be a horrible choice for the Republicans.
Jeb Bush is not a true conservative.
Jeb Bush believes in open borders and amnesty.
Jeb Bush doesn’t believe in securing the borders first.
Jeb Bush has trashed the Tea Party on more than one occasion.
Jeb Bush as the nominee would mean:
FOUR MORE YEARS OF OBAMA

Mark7788 on February 8, 2011 at 1:21 AM

Jeb Bush is an establishment Republican.
Jeb Bush is John McCain-light.
We need a TRUE CONSERVATIVE to run against Obama.
NOT JEB BUSH for heavens sake!

Mark7788 on February 8, 2011 at 1:22 AM

Jeb Bush – the soul of John McCain minus the temper and arrogance. I’ll stay home and get my gulag clothes pressed if any more of these RINO’s or LISC’s (Liberals in sheeps clothing)get elected.

Don L on February 8, 2011 at 5:37 AM

Not “Now or Never”, but NO AND NEVER!

Bootleghooch on February 8, 2011 at 6:25 AM

I’ll take NEVER for 200, Alex

stenwin77 on February 8, 2011 at 7:35 AM

I know, he could run as a “caring conservative”. Yea, that would work.

stenwin77 on February 8, 2011 at 7:36 AM

I liked Bush the elder and younger as people, not as presidents. Jeb Bush for president? Really? Now I’m sad as apparently Lowry has developed a crack habit.

Physics Geek on February 8, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Another Bush, from the preeminent rent seeking family in America.

Viator on February 8, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Hey, it ain’t easy cranking out these op-ed articles, sometimes you have to manufacture controversy.

Little Boomer on February 8, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Jeb seems excellent, but he’s made it clear he’s not interested.

That’s a very personal decision, and if people really respect him, then they should also give him credit for knowing his own mind, for heaven’s sakes.

AnninCA on February 8, 2011 at 8:57 AM

After reading a bit, I’m happy to see that most agree with me…we’ll take the NEVER option on Jeb.

Long time resident of Florida here, trust me, you don’t want Jeb to have power ever again. As said elsewhere, he’s not a conservative, he’s pro-amnesty with no conditions, he’s not fiscally responsible, he’s a part of the right-elite that can’t stand the Tea Party movement, and he’s just like his father…thinks Reagan conservatives are extremists.

Geministorm on February 8, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Let me be blunt: NO MORE BUSHES!!!!!

TQM38a on February 8, 2011 at 9:16 AM

If Jeb runs… then gets the nomination, well, let’s just get ready for 4 more years of Obama. America needs a change from half-arsed Republicrats, and get some conservative huevos!

BoomJunkie on February 8, 2011 at 9:58 AM

No more Bushs for President. However, I would not mind to see Jeb in the Senate. He needs to lose about 30 pounds or more.

SC.Charlie on February 8, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Good Lord. No. No more Bush.

therightwinger on February 8, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Go away, and take the entire clan with you.

motionview on February 8, 2011 at 11:32 AM

JEB is one Republican squishy enough to win the approval of the HA staff. The only conservative author around here was Dr. Zero.

bw222 on February 8, 2011 at 11:36 AM

They are delusional, Someone must want Obama re elected

Why not simply run McCain again, and save the money? They wouldnt have to print new signs

entagor on February 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM

for everyone who’s worried about how the libs would spin a Jeb campaign, grow a spine and deal with it. They’ll hate whoever we nominate.

joejm65 on February 7, 2011 at 6:06 PM

How about you deal with this?
I could care less who the leftist media wants me to vote for, or about who the GOP controlled pundit-squishes want me to vote for. I’m voting for a conservative. But that excludes Jeb.

Jeb Bush is a liberal, amnesty-loving, drilling moratorium-loving, affirmative action-loving, big spender Republican of the type that has brought this country to ruin. His nomination would be the last nomination for President the GOP makes (which actually may be an argument in favor, given that the country would surely do better without the GOP), because no self respecting Tea Partier or conservative will get near him with a 10′ blog poll.

james23 on February 8, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I would like him to win the other Senate seat in Florida and then we can see how he votes on national issues in the Senate. By 2016 he may have a confidence building legislative record to add to his record of competent management of Florida’s Hurricane’s and improvement in the state’s educational testing results. After 8 years of the incumbent president, I bet even the Jeb naysayers would take him as a welcome change.

KW64 on February 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I hear Jeb really likes Florida, I hope he stays there.

stenwin77 on February 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I see what you did there. But did you sit next to him once, and was he beautiful?

Barnestormer on February 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Run, Jeb, run?

No.

We’re a Republic, not a monarchy.

dominigan on February 8, 2011 at 1:19 PM

ajacksonian on February 7, 2011 at

Gomez Adams would be better than O or likely Jeb given his family’s governing history.

JimP on February 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Now, I like Jeb Bush … I really do. And I would much rather see Jeb Bush in the White House than Obama; however, c’mon … if the best conservatism can do is nominate another Bush, then I’ll just sit home, suck my thumb and pick lint out of my navel instead of voting in 2012.

JSGreg3 on February 8, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Its starting to get embarrassing being male and being a Republican, where a Woman has to show the men how to have a big brass pair of balls.

DAMN!

44Magnum on February 8, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I will not vote for a Bush. To miss-quote a more famous line:

Read my lips: New new Bushes, I made that mistake before and I am not going to do it anymore.

nosiafd on February 8, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Maybe after a conservative president rolls back some of the latest damage, it will be safe to run a moderate Republican again.

Maybe not.

tom on February 7, 2011 at 8:36 PM

We need 20 to 24 years of Conservative Presidents & Congresses cause there’s a whole lot of rolling back to do.

Jeff might be a good Junior Senator for Florida

Red State State of Mind on February 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Sorry Jeb-your Dad and brother ruined any prospect of you winning the White House by truly making Bush a 4-letter word.

sDs61678 on February 8, 2011 at 10:15 PM

No Jeb Don’t run. NO! We need a candidate that will stand out and be able to get a huge majority of votes. I like Col. West he speaks his mind. In a dry kind of way but I like that. Just don’t run Jeb.

sheebe on February 8, 2011 at 11:38 PM

I don’t hate Jeb Bush because he is a Bush. We cannot afford to have Jeb run this election. That is all I meant.

sheebe on February 8, 2011 at 11:40 PM

Kill me now.

thegreatbeast on February 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

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