Skip to comments.First Brother: Is There a Second Act for Jeb Bush?
Posted on 06/16/2006 7:18:56 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
Winding up his second term as Florida's governor, the other Bush says he doesn't want to run for President. Not everyone believes him
Fans of Florida Governor Jeb Bush often like to whisper that he, not George W., was the brother who should have been President. Jeb, they insist, is the smart one, and the more genuine conservative. So they felt especially smug last month when President Bush, on the same day his poll numbers plunged to 31%, visited Florida to tout his Medicare prescription plan with the help of Jeb, whose own numbers have hovered in the mid-50s since he took office in 1999. Descending Air Force One, the President playfully straightened Jeb's necktie on the Tampa tarmac and then spent much of the day fielding questions about whether he was grooming his younger brother to succeed him in 2008. Rather than dampen speculation, he only stoked it it by declaring that Jeb would make "a great President."
That endorsement was just part of what seems like a growing Jeb publicity machine before he leaves office next January. (Florida Governors are limited to two terms.) Official websites trumpeting his achievements, from school accountability to job creation, are as plentiful in the state capital of Tallahassee as Spanish moss. Tributes are pouring in from admirers like Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes, who writes this month that Jeb should be "the prohibitive frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination." And with tropical storms already pounding Florida, Jeb's face and his well-regarded command of hurricane management promise to be on prominent display from now through fall. To conservatives, gushes John Thrasher, a GOP lobbyist and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, "Jeb is Elvis."
The problem is, Jeb is about to leave the building and he insists he will not make a bid in 2008 to enter the White House. "Why doesn't everyone believe me on this?" he pleaded while trying to bat down the President's suggestions last month.
Two big factors make his denial more plausible than some would assume. Although Jeb, 53, will likely depart as one of America's most popular governors and one of the GOP's most potent figures, a bid to replace his brother in the White House could leave most voters with the impression that the Bushes are trying to be not just a political dynasty, but royalty. Better, the thinking goes, for Jeb to wait until 2012 or 2016. Another reason is personal: friends and aides say Jeb's family, especially his wife Columba and daughter Noelle, who is recovering from drug addiction, needs a break from the political circus.
But beneath the surface of Jeb's solid approval ratings lies another consideration. For all the acclaim he gets in conservative circles, there are still questions as to whether his record in Florida which in reality has been a cycle of sunshine and tropical depressions, from pioneering accomplishments like Medicaid reform to embarrassing debacles like the Terri Schiavo spectacle could survive the brutal scrutiny of a White House campaign.
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Time is afraid of a third Bush. Good for them that Jeb has denied he's running for President--repeatedly. Enough about this already, MSM.
I'm done with the Bushs. Unless I can manage a meet with Jenna.
Maybe 2008 is just wrong timing for Jeb. However, with a failure of Democratic President, maybe Jeb can come back in 2012 because Bush years seemed "golden" compared to a RAT in charge.
I agree. Two is enough. Let's try to find some fresh conservative faces without ties to George H.W. Bush.
Jeb should move to NY and run for the senate. It has worked for other out of state politicians. RFK and Hitlery come to mind.
The problem is, Jeb is about to leave the building and he insists he will not make a bid in 2008 to enter the White House.
The Bush family does fine with foreign issues but I don't think we can cope with another Bush on the homefront.
You rather a RAT in charge than to vote for another Bush?
The problem is that his name is Jeb, not George. Or, put another way, the problem is that daddy's name was George, not Jeb.
Sorry I don't vote for the letter in front of a name.
2008 is definitely wrong timing, but he's also not interested in the job. The only way he'd run at all is if he were convinced to do so. Potential converters have a lot of time to work with, at least.
Meanwhile, I don't think the Dems are winning anything this year, let alone in 08.
Classic strawman argument. There are plenty of other good Republicans capable of running for President.
Jeb should have ran for Senate, IMO.
Let Jeb run against Al Gore. It would be worth it for the DU meltdown alone when Gore becomes a two-time loser.
Heard today that Florida is the ONLY state that has met the Homeland Security Emergency Standards. JEB has his act together!
I would definitely need to see how he would fight the defensive end of the WOT. I like Jeb just fine but I want to be sure he isn't a carbon copy of his brother.
I wish Jeb would run against Bill "I'm an astronaut" Nelson for the Senate this fall. I don't think Harris can win, but Jeb can clean Nelson's clock and then some. I'd love to see him as my senator.
I SAY AMERICA, STAY OUT DA BUSHES!
Oh god, would you BushBot FReepers give it a break? The "WELL YOU WANT A DEMOCRAT INSTEAD OF A BUSH" nonsense is REALLY getting old?
Like there aren't 299,999,999 other Americans in the country, 9,134,751 of whom would easily do a better job than either Bush.
"Jeb should have ran for Senate, IMO"
I really wish he would have ran. He would have beat Nelson easily.
Jeb Bush would make a good President, imho, just like his brother (and his Dad... except for that "read my lips" business... but we won't go there). Hats off to the Governor of Florida. He's done a good job in a tough state to run.
OH no Mr. Bill!! The Bushbots are coming out!!!
Hopefully, Jenna is a real conservative.
You rather a RAT in charge than to vote for another Bush?
they insist, is the smart one
And that's why his brother is President and he's only a governor.
As a republican in Florida I would most certainly NOT urge JEB run for pres. He is not the politician that his father (or brother) are. More Bush, diminishing returns, time for some new blood. Maybe (gasp!) a fiscal conservative that won't waste our money on more expensive inefficient government.
I still have my "JEB" signs ready. I'd vote for him.
Who isn't afraid of a third Bush needs his head examined.
You can't fault the guy for trying, but I'm Bushed out. If this year is what electoral victory looks like, I'm ready to roll the dice on defeat.
Criminal Number 18F
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