Even though the media battalion had already been badgering Jeb Bush about this, I’m not sure exactly how it helps him in the 2016 primary. The now almost officially declared candidate (at the “exploratory” stage) is cutting his ties to Tenet Healthcare in Dallas, Texas, where he currently serves on the Board of Directors.
The former Florida governor’s resignation from the board of directors of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. is effective Dec. 31, a Bush aide confirmed Thursday. The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on his departure.
Bush’s business record is considered a potential area of vulnerability for him should he decide to run in 2016. He has been involved in a range of ventures, including private equity funds. Those links have drawn comparisons to Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 nominee for president, who was attacked during his campaign over his financial entanglements.
Bush’s decision on Tenet “is consistent with reviewing all of his commitments as part of actively exploring a potential run,” his aide said in a statement to POLITICO.
Bush has been on the board at Tenet since 2007 and has collected a very hefty salary. In addition to having cashed in nicely on ObamaCare, Tenet also has a history of issues arising from their other government interactions. The group was forced to pay up to the tune of $900M some years ago because they had overcharged the already strained Medicare and Medicaid systems.
What’s a bit more puzzling about this move is the almost casual way that Bush’s team is announcing it. When you describe a decision to abandon such a lucrative cash cow as being consistent with reviewing all of his commitments as part of actively exploring a presidential run you certainly get kudos for honesty, but what are we supposed to read into that? It has often been said that you can tell a lot more about a person from what they do when you’re not watching. So it was okay to take the money off the back of ObamaCare until you decided to run for POTUS but now you’ll stop taking it?
Buried at the bottom of the original linked article was another puzzler. Jeb is also going to back off on another source of income. (Emphasis added)
Earlier this month, it was reported that Bush would be stepping down as a paid adviser to the British bank Barclays by year’s end. Aides to Bush have also said he has stopped delivering highly paid speeches; the Republican has plans to travel across the country to meet with voters as he mulls a White House run.
Why on Earth do you stop with the speaking engagements? I understand that there are plenty of folks in the media who have criticized Hillary for her rock star level speaking fees and diva demands, but I have consistently supported her right to take these gigs. This is America, and if you can cash in on such appearances, I say go for it. (We might question the sanity of those who are willing to lay out a quarter million for the honor of having Hillary blather on for an hour, but that’s not Clinton’s responsibility.) Bush is a Republican and clearly a capitalist. I don’t understand why he would suddenly project the image of being an apologist for being successful.
It’s funny what a political campaign will make people do sometimes, but Bush is a seasoned veteran of the trail. These seem like the moves of somebody who needs to shake the rust off.