Jeb’s in. Can he win?

(Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg Photo / Luke Sharrett)

“I will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart, and I will run to win.”

That’s how Jeb Bush capped an impressive speech Monday to (officially) launch his presidential campaign. Say what you will about the specter of political dynasties — Bush had something to say about them, and Jay and I will, too (hint, hint) — but the former Florida governor seems ready to run his own race as his own man.

Bush has said he wants to run a “joyful” campaign, and his speech at Miami Dade College made clear a few ways in which he will try to run on optimism rather than merely putting down President Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

He started off talking about the economy, reminding the audience of Florida’s boom during his time in office. “There’s no reason we can’t grow (the economy) 4 percent a year,” he said, claiming that would translate into 19 million new jobs, “and that will be my goal as president.” He laid blame for stagnation at Washington’s doorstep, calling it the “static capital” of a “dynamic country.” Like other Republicans, Bush indicated he’d go after over-zealous regulators (“it’s time to make rules for the rule makers”) and reform the tax code, which he described as the result of small-time thinking and special interests. “Leaders,” he said, “need to think big.”

Education policy is another strength from Bush’s time as governor, and he talked about the need for kids in failing schools to have more choices. Though he did not mention the words Common Core, he did refer to the national education standards in way that draws a distinction between the U.S. Department of Education and an arrangement among states: “Every school should have high standards, and the federal government should have no role in setting them.”

It’s clear Bush will first try to distinguish himself from the senators running for president, and particularly fellow Floridian Marco Rubio. (A state senator who spoke right before Bush — after an hour-long lead-up that seemed destined to continue right through the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland — pointedly called Bush “the Florida Republican who can win.”) He referred to those who have “proven incapable of fixing” our problems, which seemed like a reference to Congress and the 2016 candidates who are members of it. He went further in distinguishing between governors and senators: “As we’ve learned since 2008, executive experience is another term for preparation, and there is no substitute for that.”

As for Democrats, Bush leveled his biggest criticism of the current president regarding foreign policy. He slammed Obama’s thawing of relations with Cuba’s dictators, panning a potential presidential visit to the island as the act of a “glorified tourist …. We need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I’m ready to be that president.” He also touched on Obama’s missteps in the Middle East, if more gingerly than other Republicans have: “Our president and his team have been so eager to be the history makers,” he said, “they’ve failed to be the peacemakers.”

From what I’ve seen of the GOP contenders, there’s clearly a feeling foreign policy can be a strength for the party’s nominee as Hillary Clinton tries to take the baton from Obama. And there’s the rub for Jeb: Like Mitt Romney’s hamstrung ability to attack Obamacare credibly given his track record in Massachusetts, a Bush as GOP nominee could neutralize the party’s ability to campaign against Clinton’s time as secretary of state.

Bush on Monday didn’t shy away from his family’s political history: “I met my first president on the day I was born and my second on the day I was brought home from the hospital,” he quipped. He flipped concerns about dynasties on their head: “The presidency should not be passed down from one liberal to another.” Ultimately, he said he aimed to win the nomination on his own merits: “It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test. And it’s wide open, exactly as a contest for president should be.”

That last one in particular was a good line, and a high aspiration. But it’ll take more than that to convince the electorate, in the GOP primary and perhaps beyond, that Jeb Bush represents something new.

Reader Comments 0

29 comments
HeyThere
HeyThere

PLEASE no more Bushes or Clintons.

notagain
notagain

Jebush just another Bush and we know what that means.Deception.deception,more deception..

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

No speech or reinvented logo can take the millstones from around Jeb!'s neck.  Terri Schiavo. 


This is going to be a big one. His handling of that situation was a complete disaster and proved just how incompetent he is.


Just like his brother, Jeb! has had everything handed to him because of Daddy's last name. He is NOT up to the job.


Do I think this country will make that mistake again ?


I pray it doesn't. 



Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar Honest questions: How do you think Hillary's Senate race would have gone in 2000 if her last name were Jones and her husband hadn't been president? Would she be the front-runner in the Democratic primary now?

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Kyle_Wingfield @HeadleyLamar Not well


and no


But we don't live in that vacuum.


The reality is that Clintons time as President is looked upon fondly and is considered a success.


While W's presidency is generally frowned upon to put it mildly. 


Hillary can and will use Bill in her favor. Jeb will have to distance himself from his brother as much as possible. Big difference.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar "Hillary can and will use Bill in her favor."

See, I'm not so sure about that. In the contemporary, more left-wing Democratic Party, she is going to have to distance herself from some of what her husband did:

1. The calls for higher taxes on "the rich" would mean raising tax rates well beyond where they ended up during Bill's presidency.

2. More to the point, Bill lowered the capital gains tax rate (producing more income, but today's Democrats seem to agree with Obama that this isn't about revenue but "fairness") for all those "rich" people.

3. Bill signed financial deregulations -- also won't work with the current Democratic crowd.

4. Bill signed NAFTA -- now Hillary is afraid to say if she even thinks a president in general should have trade promotion authority, much less sign a real free-trade deal.

5. Bill signed welfare reforms -- Hillary appears to be campaigning on additional social-welfare programs.

That's just off the top of my head. If she is actually asked about Bill's positions during the Democratic primary -- and that is a big "if" given the lack of a competitive field and other candidates' likely reluctance to be seen denigrating him -- she will be hard-pressed not to distance herself from Bill.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Kyle_Wingfield @HeadleyLamar Bill did govern as a moderate Democrat. The left wing of the Democratic party didn't like that then and wont now.


Any issues that group has with Billary's policies pales in comparison to the Kryptonite that is Dubya.


In a general election independents are just going to equate the previous Clinton presidency as successful and the previous Bush one as unsuccessful.


Bill will be front and center. Giving speeches at the DNC etc. Not enough time has passed for George to be invited back to the party just yet. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar Again, not sure the Bill "happy times are here again" reprise will work if someone other than Jeb is opposite Hillary on the stage.

Mick11
Mick11

As a Floridian, jeb bush instituted the now debunked testing regime.  His education credentials are not respected by the professionals.  Charter schools?  His very own charter earned an "F" then he abandoned it altogether, it is now closed.

Big words, failing actions; that would be jeb...no more bush!!!

Shar1
Shar1

No speech or reinvented logo can take the millstones from around Jeb!'s neck.  Terri Schiavo.  His interference in the 2000 electoral recount, handing his brother the presidency.  His networking for profit throughout his brother's terms in office.  His endorsement of his brother's foreign policy team, probably the worst put together in living memory with certainly the worst result.


And then there's his brother's presidency.


Jeb! cannot run as "his own man" because he wouldn't be ascending the stage if he was not a Bush. Bush money, Bush contacts, Bush visibility and Bush clout got him there, and the Bush entanglements and failures will pull him down.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Jeb! has the baggage of bad foreign policy by his brother in Iraq.  Nothing will change that. 

Cuba?  Thawing relations is long overdue.  Talking about freeing Cuba is great talk, but really, how do you do that realistically as President?  More blockade? (Nope, that didn't work.) 

Jeb! is actually one of the better options, and he comes across as a realistic choice. He's not as far out of the middle, so he has a realistic chance versus Hillary.  


Again, please don't let use get a Bush v. Clinton again. Bush or Clinton.  But inevitably, it's looking more likely as each week goes by. 

sbatl
sbatl

The Koch brothers are missing out on a huge opportunity here. They should create a reality tv show with all the GOP candidates, maybe like a big brother situation, or survivor, so we can all watch this train wreck and end these charades. They will be the ones who choose the candidate any how, why not let us be entertained?

Caius
Caius

Republicans lost the women's vote big time in 2008 and 2012.  What have they done to turn that around?  What can they do to turn that around?  Today, repeat today,  I see that as the key to the election.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Finally - a credible candidate from the Republicans.  He'll be hamstrung by his name but markedly helped by his Mexican wife, experience in South America, excellent Spanish, and understanding of Latino culture.  Hillary will have an advantage in the Middle East but also be hamstrung by her name and her vote for Bush-2's Iraq invasion.  Is there an unknown with good credentials, a centrist philosophy, an understanding of the current U.S. culture, and insight regarding the Jihadists?  Is so, that person will be elected.

lvg
lvg

Since the Bush family loves to make money off banks that violate US sanctions, I assume Jeb will not push for continuance of US sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Russia unless of course  some family member is profiting from violating those sanctions.

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

@lvg Be careful regarding 'making money' charge.  There is no telling what will fall out on the Clintons next week!

 Hillary apparently violated an agreement with President Obama regarding restrictions on money solicitation while Sec of State.  She has been associated with government throughout her life!  She DID KNOW right from wrong, and knew precisely what she was doing.  How can she claim that she is a 'CHAMPION OF WOMEN' when she and Bill were accepting money from countries who treat women as 'property'? 

Folks, we a FOOLS if we allow her anywhere close to the White House doors.  The Clintons are out for the Clintons! 

Take your pick. Point out of all of this is that now that the cat is out of the bag, there will be one investigation after another, and Lord knows what the legal expenses will be. This is not going to go away and the Clintons know it.

Criminal probes for the Clintons and their ‘CHARITABLE’ Global Initiative??

Conflict of Interest??

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08...

http://capitalresearch.org/201...

http://www.politico.com/story/...

Haitians asking: “Where is the $10 Billion Raised for Haiti? It is now 2015!!”

http://freebeacon.com/issues/c...

http://www.frontpagemag.com/20...

Surely the Clintons are not using HSBC to hide $$$$$$$ are they? (This is against the law isn’t it?)

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd...

http://www.icij.org/project/sw...

http://www.standupamericaus.or...

http://wallstreetonparade.com/...

http://www.irishtimes.com/busi...

Appears that Egypt has their own problem with Hillary!!

http://dcgazette.com/hillary-m...

Dusty2
Dusty2

Well, we finally get some good positive news.  Jeb Bush is going to run and he will come to Washington like a breath of fresh air.  Honesty will prevail and experience will be essential and love of America will be present again. 


Americans are not blind and deaf. The good qualities of Jeb Bush are outstanding and will be recognized.  Happy days are here as our central government has the chance to reinvent with great leadership. 


Let us go with joy at this great opportunity.!    

notagain
notagain

@Dusty2 Time to buy stock in prosthetics & munitions manufacturers.

332-206
332-206

@Dusty2 "Americans are not blind and deaf."

Well, those who didn't go to Iraq...

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

It is going to be interesting, for sure.  I think people are ready for a candidate that they think can return us to prosperity, competence, and respect in the world.  Jeb is too tied into the same old big government policies that have gotten us into the current state of miasma that surrounds DC and the politicians ensconced there.  I think folks want a reformer, and I don't see Jeb in that light, more a continuation of the same ole, same ole.


I know his strategy is to stick with his immigration policy and Common Core, despite it being out of touch with the GOP base, so that he will have a chance with the moderates in the General Election.  Will his huge money advantage allow him to overcome the resistance of his parties base, and in essence, buy the nomination?.  I don't see that his money is going to be able to overcome the dislike of his base.  I don't think he is the best candidate against Hillary, she can out pander him.  If he says he wants citizenship for illegals after they pay a fine and do some penance, she is going to say, he is asking you to stay in the shadows for more years, I am for citizenship today.  We need someone with new ideas, vitality, and enthusiastic energy to take on the old grey mare.


332-206
332-206

Best line not used in speech: "Using my brother's advisors, I'll be my own man".

Pistol66
Pistol66

This man is a leader who has demonstrated an ability to bring people together to solve issues!  The current president's problem is he was never trained or acquired the experience to lead and the country has suffered because of it! A very successful governor from an intensely diverse state who can pull our country together and give us vision and hope for the future!

MarkVV
MarkVV

Speeches launching presidential campaign are not – and cannot be – expected to bring something of substance, and Jeb Bush’s speech was no different.

Jeb Bush can win the nomination. He has one important advantage over some of his party opponents – he looks “presidential.” That may be a very superficial quality, but actually is important for more people than someone might realize. There are people who might say: “Can you imagine Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, as a head of state? Not to mention (or especially to mention) Donald Trump?

When Jeb Bush says

“As we’ve learned since 2008, executive experience is another term for preparation, and there is no substitute for that,”

one may wonder if he had his father in mind?

Just like Gov. Walker, Jeb Bush probably overstates the importance of dealing with problems in one state in dealing with the Congress, fifty states and the world. And his foreign policy comments so far, even apart from his fumbling the Iraq question, have been little more than empty slogans.

But Jeb Bush can win the nomination.

MHSmith
MHSmith

He has a good chance. If Jeb wins the primary I will support him and vote for him in Nov. 


I always said Jed would be a better President than his brother George.