“My core beliefs start with the premise that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line, not the back,” Bush says in the video. “The barriers right now on people rising up is the great challenge of our time.”
The video is aimed particularly at women voters, underscoring the image Bush wants to project of himself as a deeply compassionate governor. “If you wonder what Jeb means when he talks about showing his heart, here you go.” senior Bush aide David Kochel tweeted when the video was released Sunday.
But to a number of Republican strategists, some associated with other presidential campaigns and some not, the video shows a GOP politician ignoring the challenge of winning his own party’s primaries before running a general election campaign. In addition, the video stresses Bush’s goodness so heavily that the strategists wonder whether even a positive attribute, like compassion, can be overdone. And finally, the video raises the question of whether an appeal to women voters can be taken so far that it gives a campaign ad an almost feminized quality.