Alternate headline: “Man who’s been running for president for seven months to announce he’s running for president.” Live at 3 p.m. ET from Miami Dade College, Jeb will finally make it official, bringing an end to the sham “exploratory” phase he’s been exploiting to raise mountains of money for his Super PAC. At long last, the momentous question facing voters next year will be squarely before them: Clinton 2.0 or Bush 3.0? On that fateful choice hangs the future of the nation, specifically whether it’ll be the Bushes’ turn next once President Hillary is out of office or the Clintons’ turn once President Jeb is done.
The setting for today’s speech is designed to show off what makes Jeb unique, like … the fact that he values education. And loves people, and America. And other unique stuff like that.
— Chris Moody (@moody) June 15, 2015
Bush 43 won’t be there, which is understandable. Less understandable is why Bush 41 won’t be there. Maybe, given his age and health, it’s too much of an ordeal for him to travel now, or maybe Jeb figures that trotting out the former President Bush whom voters admire will encourage the media to focus on the absence of the one whom the public isn’t crazy about. Jeb would love to convince Americans that he’s the policy heir to George H.W. rather than George W. but the press, ever loyal to The Cause, will fight him on that. The Bushes are, for “narrative” purposes, a package deal. If it’s a choice between having them both out of sight or having Dubya onstage next to Poppy, Jeb will reluctantly choose door number one.
Expect a speech light on ideology and heavy on “results” and “heart” (message: I care), with lots of emphasis on wage growth and education (but not Common Core!). On immigration, watch to see if he signals that he’s already moving left on his current absurd position of offering a path to legalization but not citizenship. That’s an odd attempt to pander to the right on a core issue by a guy who’s made a big show of not pandering to the right otherwise. He’s going to end up backing citizenship eventually; if, as has been suggested, he intends to campaign in the primary the way he would in the general election then there’s no sense keeping up the pretense any longer. Especially when his staff went to the trouble of printing campaign signs with an extra exclamation point, in case Latino voters feel excluded otherwise:
Spanish version of Jeb! pic.twitter.com/cpp0LTiD7j
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) June 15, 2015
Here’s a sneak preview of today’s message: Results, results, results, not ideology. And not a bunch of credentials with nothing to show for it a la Clinton 2.0.