Is this the winning formula for a Republican in 2016?

Jeb Bush

If history is any guide, we can expect to see the leading figures in the 2016 presidential race begin to announce their candidacies in the next couple of months. Ahead of the last election without an incumbent, 2008, Hillary Clinton launched her exploratory committee on Jan. 20, 2007 — exactly two years before George W. Bush’s successor would be sworn in. Barack Obama, John McCain and Mitt Romney all spoke publicly about their intentions to run before the end of February 2007.

A past candidate like Clinton can afford to wait a bit longer to make a formal announcement, but first-time candidates want to jump into the fray early so they can secure staff and donors, begin to shape the debate, and possibly ward off other contenders. So it comes as no surprise that 2016 watchers are keeping a particularly close eye on perhaps the biggest Republican name in the potential field: Jeb Bush.

Yesterday, speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council event, Bush did nothing to tamp down speculation that he will indeed run. He declined to make an announcement or give a time table for doing so — saying only he would make up his mind “in short order” — but he offered an outline of what his top issues would be if he were to get into the race. Here’s a summary of Bush’s platform from the Journal (subscription required):

“(A)n ‘all-in’ energy policy that expands the use of the nation’s natural resources; a reduction in business regulations; a simpler tax code; an ‘economically driven’ overhaul of the immigration system; and a ‘radical transformation’ of the education system. …

“After all of those issues are addressed, Mr. Bush said, the nation needs to tackle ‘the other big thing that is not going to happen soon, which is entitlement reform.'”

There aren’t a lot of details here, but the Journal’s account offers more of a description of Bush’ thinking on education and immigration, starting with the former:

“The changes he proposed regarding education would break up the ‘politicized, unionized, government-run monopolies’ of local school districts and better serve the needs of individual children, he explained.

“Mr. Bush spoke forcefully about his interest in overhauling the education system. ‘The fact is, the end is near if we don’t fix this,’ he said, calling it a tragedy when low-income children are relegated to failing public schools.

“He reiterated his support for higher academic standards — whether they are the Common Core national standards or other equally rigorous benchmarks — and for testing to measure whether students are meeting them. ‘If you don’t measure, you really don’t care,’ he said.

“‘I’ve lost my patience on this,’ Mr. Bush said, referring to what he described as an unwillingness among special interests to improve public education.”

That’s an interesting mix of thoughts on education that appear born of experience in reforming education — something Bush spent a great deal of time and political capital on during his two terms as Florida’s governor. But they will also make it tough to pigeon-hole him ideologically. Common Core is unpopular among many conservative activists, though opinion polling indicates the notion of high educational standards enjoys strong support among Republicans and Democrats alike. While Bush personally endorses Common Core, that line about “other equally rigorous benchmarks” could allow him to finesse the issue with conservatives who support high standards but are suspicious of national standards. He would seem to be on firmer ground with conservatives and many independents with his line of attack on teacher unions and local school monopolies, although that, too, depends on the details. Is this only about how federal funds are spent, or would he try something as daring as breaking up unions on the local level? Like high academic standards, the latter is something many Americans could support in principle but find worrisome if done by the federal government.

Then there’s Bush on the other issue that puts him out of step with many conservatives, immigration reform:

“Mr. Bush said he disagrees with President Barack Obama’s decision to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation through executive action that bypasses Congress, but he cautioned Republicans to take the lead on the issue ‘rather than have their heads explode.’

“He said the immigration system should expand access to the U.S. based on the country’s economic needs and prioritize allowing ‘first-round draft picks’ to come, rather than uniting families. ‘It’s probably the easiest way to get to sustained economic growth, which is what we desperately need,’ he noted.”

That sounds like it could mean a few things, from focusing on a guest-worker program to working mostly on attracting and keeping high-skilled immigrants in fields such as IT. As with education, how successfully Bush could push those issues as a candidate would depend on exactly how he casts them.

It’s a myth, though, that the GOP primary electorate makes it impossible for a centrist/moderate candidate to emerge as the nominee. Even if we push Bush’s brother firmly in the conservative category — something many conservatives would dispute, given his record on spending, among other things — it remains true that Republicans have nominated relatively moderate folks in five of the past seven cycles: Romney, McCain, Bob Dole and Bush’s father (twice). In fact, Bush’s ability to win as more of a moderate could depend in large part on which other Republicans get into the race and how they split the votes of various constituencies. For instance, his candidacy could keep fellow Floridian Marco Rubio from running, which could alter the dynamics of the race in several ways. Whether Chris Christie runs would make an equally significant impact on the race.

But looking simply at the platform Bush outlined — and ignoring from now the question of whether Americans will vote for another Bush — what do you make of the issues and stances he’s staking out?

Reader Comments 0

58 comments
Trefusis
Trefusis

Hey, welcome back, Kyle.  We missed you but were glad that you could be with your family. Which is to say, never do that again!  I do construe what's presently going on here in discussion, and do greatly fear that the EPA is a creature determined to occupy every department of our lives--you can see this in the lines of dear President Carter's face--but what I ask of you is that you report back on the splendid school your children are attending, because I want such a school for everyone but cannot see how to make it happen--as they say in politics, "generalizable".  Glad to see you in saddle.   

straker
straker

Yes_Jesus - "isn't there someone else in a nation of 300 million people who is more qualified"


Actually, there are a number of very well qualified people.


Unfortunately, American politics has become such a mud hole that we'll never see them run.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

I agree with Bush's issues in principle.  As a Bush, he has a mixed record on conservative resolve, mostly negative, in my view.  I don't want our country to become one of family dynasties. 

Isn't there someone else in a nation of 300 million people who is more qualified to run for President than a member of the Bush or Clinton family? 

RantNRave
RantNRave

"And, the EPA must be gutted so they can't inflict harm without Congressional approval."


JOHNNYREB


YOU CONS ARE LIVING ON THIS PLANET AS IF YOU HAD ANOTHER ONE TO GO TO.





MarkVV
MarkVV

Considering the names of other potential Republican candidates that have been mentioned so far, Jeb Bush’s falls into the category of ‘lesser evil.”

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Clinton? One and done.

Bush? One and done.


CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

After the Beirut Marine Barracks bombings the Lebanese sure thought he was a wimp.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

And they want to talk about Iran Contra.


Hunter dropped a bombshell in a Nov. 5 letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, claiming that America's Joint Special Operations Command 'did pursue at least two lines of effort for Bergdahl: a kinetic rescue operation, if necessary, and; a payment to the Haqqani Network to gain Bergdahl's release.'

'It has been brought to my attention,' Hunter wrote, 'that a payment was made to an Afghan intermediary who "disappeared" with the money and failed to facilitate Bergdahl's release in return. The payment was made in January-February 2014.'


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2842830/We-know-better-believe-Congressman-s-office-says-Pentagon-lying-DOES-pay-ransoms-gov-t-duped-fraudster-ran-Bowe-Bergdahl-payoff-cash.html#ixzz3KmRvBQsE 


IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

The liberals look at the actions of Reagan instead of the results his actions achieved. The lowest tax rate in decades when he left office. The highest GDP since World War II. Beat the Soviet Union. Shrank the government while growing the long neglected military. Yes, he had to give a few things but they were small and inconsequential. Enjoy your lucky door prizes liberals. He was into your back pocket while you snatched away the trinkets he gave you.


The man was great.

JamVet
JamVet

If Jeb runs, the GOP loses.


It is that simple; and I, for one, would LOVE to see another Bush-leaguer in the public eye to remind us all just how lucky we were from 2000 - 2008!



JamVet
JamVet

"Reagan wasn't a Conservative?"

Of course Ronnie was a con! (So was his traitorous side kick Ollie!)

Just a BIG, BIG gubmint, gun grabbing, baby-killing, serial tax raising, cut and running from Lebanon, amnesty for illegals, apartheid loving peacnik who tripled the federal budget deficit kind of con!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I hope Bush does not run.  He's not the right person at this critical time.  He's "establishment Republican" and the base does not want that.

I would like to see the political discussion turn to electing a man who will be willing to work with Congress to weaken the power of the presidency, and also especially the EPA.

The current unlawfulness of Obama shows a crack in the system where even a majority of Congress are challenged to stop a rogue president before he inflicts harm.  It's very difficult to unwind a clock as will be the case for Obamacare and Immigration.

And, the EPA must be gutted so they can't inflict harm without Congressional approval.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

When Reagan assumed office in 1981, anything seemed possible, especially to young conservatives who, like me, were just becoming politically aware, eager to read the right books, think the right thoughts, and join the right organizations. Reagan’s Inaugural Address brought an abrupt end to Carter’s “crisis of confidence.” In a moment, optimism muscled aside malaise. The new president told America that government was the problem, not the solution. The whole edifice of the New Deal and the Great Society seemed to quiver. Surely the secretaries of education and energy would soon be standing on the unemployment line. And the immediate release of the Iranian hostages, held for 444 days, proved that the world was watching and once again respected American military might and resolve. In short, liberalism’s stranglehold on domestic and foreign policy was over. Conservatism’s 30-year effort to take back America had triumphed.


Yeah, he was a real bleeding heart.

Dusty2
Dusty2

Smart Americans are going to demand an intelligent, experienced, sensible, patriotic American for president and the best in that category is Jeb Bush.  That is  the Republican the country needs.


The best thing that Barach Obama has done is to prove that we never again want a liberal democratic neophyte who thinks he is king with communistic characteristics.  He cannot work with congress which is the representative group of citizen  influence.. His overseas diplomacy is almost harmful .and usually ignored.

Americans are ready for a leader of merit and that is Jeb Bush.       

Claver
Claver

Of the current Republican names being tossed about, he'd probably be at or near the top of my list.  His policies might not be that different than Christie's, but I think temperament is important in the presidency.  Jeb is much less likely to embarrass himself.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Reagan wasn't a Conservative?


Anybody else notice that it's only liberals that think this?

Caius
Caius

"...it remains true that Republicans have nominated relatively moderate folks in five of the past seven cycles: Romney, McCain, Bob Dole and Bush’s father (twice)."

There is no way one can say that the nomination of Reagan for a second term was the nomination of a "conservative".  No way!

That said, every Republican elected president since Coolidge was a "moderate", with the possible of Reagan for his first term. 

And while I am on the soapbox, I see little difference between Jeb and Hillary, both believers in a big strong central government.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

John Kasich is a guy who would have me thinking about voting Republican.


Or perhaps Huntsman. Both Moderate Republicans. 


Neither is running and wouldn't have a chance anyway. 



IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

 “It's a great country. There are a lot of great families. It's not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes."


4 families, hmmmm. Bush, clinton, ahhh, that's enough. I agree! No more dynasties, or is it die-nasties?


No bushes and no clintons!


Thanks for the reminder.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"we can expect to see the leading figures in the 2016 presidential race begin to announce their candidacies"




LET THE SHOW BEGIN.............


BECAUSE AMERICA IS A CIRCUS AND THE REPUBLICANS ARE THE CLOWNS.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

“It's a great country. There are a lot of great families. It's not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes."


- Barbara Bush


Polls show the country agrees.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Another Bush running for President is a hard sale but his ideas are right on...

“(A)n ‘all-in’ energy policy that expands the use of the nation’s natural resources; a reduction in business regulations; a simpler tax code; an ‘economically driven’ overhaul of the immigration system; and a ‘radical transformation’ of the education system. …


HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

It’s a myth, though, that the GOP primary electorate makes it impossible for a centrist/moderate candidate to emerge as the nominee.


Nope


it remains true that Republicans have nominated relatively moderate folks in five of the past seven cycles: 


Who had to turn hard to the right to get the nomination. Which then hurt them in the General. 

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

Fairly or not Jeb will be tied at the hip with his brother who was an awful President.


Sad part is Jeb would have been much better. The elder Bush knew this as well.


But its too late now.





RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Notice the absence of Heathcare reform and Obamacare rescinding?

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

If he spent a great deal of capital and resources on education as governor, why don't you post on how those efforts turned out? Did Florida K-12 education improve?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

“‘I’ve lost my patience on this,’ Mr. Bush said, referring to what he described as an unwillingness among special interests to improve public education.”


Okay, he's got our attention. 


But the problem is that last name....



AvailableName
AvailableName

Typical politician of any stripe - what can I say, without really saying anything, to appeal to/not anger the most people.

straker
straker

He needs to wait a few months and see just how strong the Tea Party will be in the new Congress.


If Tea Party thinking dominates, he can forget trying to get the nomination.


Palin, Cruz and Bacchman will be the likely types to get the nomination.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Please run another Bush that's an easy win for the Democrats.  Prescott Bush (granddaddy)  bankrupted wall street and helped to create the Great Depression of 1930 which led up to WWII (Hitlers rise to power), George Walker Bush caused the Great Recession of 2008 so bring IT so we can send IT packing.  Psst... I am currently studying American History so I know the real story behind the Great Depression and how this country helped Germany to pay its debt after WWI which created a Adolph Hitler when the debt could no longer be paid. Just for the record.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Bush will continue to be seen as an open-borders advocate on immigration, regardless of how he hedges going into 2016. 

The solution to illegal immigration is simple: do as other countries do and close off opportunities—jobs, benefits and protection from immigration enforcement. And stop Democrats from continuing to block the use of E-Verify to protect American jobs.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@RantNRave - that's a pretty wild and unsubstantiated statement.

Note that nowhere in my post did I suggest the EPA is not needed.

The problem is, due to badly written law the EPA has become it's own little monarch where harm can be inflicted on citizens without Congressional approval.

They don't call it the "people's house" just for headlines. 


blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@RantNRave Is there room in your fantasy world for the 80,000 West Virginians that are losing their livelihood due to EPA regulations???  Just because you want to shut down our economy doesn't means the rest of us want do.    

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@RantNRave 

What hasn't worked well for bamster's popularity is an unaccountable federal government.  Even when we discuss the issue, leftists become indignant, angry and personally insulting. 

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@CommonSenseisntCommon Yeah, he should have massacred all of them, right? Something that we could have easily done. And it would have cost innocent lives in the tens of thousands.


Is that what you wanted?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Dusty2 Clap Clap Clap. Yep he is the first President to have a shoe thrown at him because his over seas diplomacy is so horrible and the first President to issue an Executive Order against what Congress would prefer .  Your post is ripe with partisan politics and full imaginary events and people. Do yourself a favor and pick up an American History book before you wade into what, who and why Presidents do what they do. 

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@HeadleyLamar @IReportYouWhine Reagan compromised with the democrats of his day, instead of just telling everybody that he did. This resulted in a few concessions, very, very few concessions that yielded much much more for the movement than what we lost. And, of course, some of the democrats he made deals with we're pre grubers, who were lying and didn't hold up their end of the deal. Kinda like how obama does it today.


blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@HeadleyLamar @blah blah blah gosh you're right let's destroy American businesses with regulation strangulation...  Look around, Obama policies have done nothing but board up businesses, or forcing them to hold capitol or better yet go off shore.  But you independently wealthy trolls know whats best for the rest of us.  Thanks but no thanks

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@IReportYouWhine @HeadleyLamar Reagan compromised with the democrats of his day,


Your right about that.....Conservatives today aren't willing to do that.


Thanks for making my point. 

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@IReportYouWhine He was a tax-cutter who raised taxes in seven of the eight years of his presidency. He was a budget-cutter who nearly tripled the federal budget deficit.


Reaganomics....or the idea that cutting taxes will produce more Revenue is still hurting the Country today.....Heck even Bush Sr knew that was a load of crap.


Reagan’s son, Ron, says in the film that he believes his father “was vulnerable to the idea that poor people were somehow poor because it was their fault.” A clip is then shown of Ronald Reagan referring to, “The homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice.”


You hear people repeat that one every day.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/opinion/15herbert.html?_r=0


Enough of Reagan. He was what he was and it isn't what modern Conservatives think it was.


He did make America feel good about herself again and that was important....and he did stare down the Russians...Also important.....Though he certainly didn't end the cold war all by himself....That war had been going on since the 50's....he just spiked the football at the end. 


Good President...Yes....Great one.....No