Most importantly — and ideologues don’t seem able to understand this — issues are only one consideration for many voters, who also look at personality, style, experience, maturity, stature and other personal qualities when deciding how they will vote. They understand they are choosing someone who will make decisions about issues that have not yet emerged or events that have not yet occurred. They are choosing a leader, not merely a list of issue positions.
More than a decade ago, a thoughtful Democratic consultant reminded me that for caucus and primary participants in the early states, “There is a point … when (voters) start evaluating these (candidates) as a president.”
Eventually, voters evaluate potential presidents differently than they do hopefuls for other offices because the presidency is so powerful and so important in the nation’s health and safety. Issues certainly aren’t irrelevant, but there are other considerations as well.
Bush starts off looking and sounding like a president. Few of the other GOP hopefuls can say that. He seems thoughtful, reasoned and serious. He has the stature many of them lack, the quiet toughness difficult to imitate.