JEB SURFACES – AT 8:39 A.M. ET: There's been some political buzz recently about Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and brother of Dubya, as a possible presidential candidate. It's a long shot, but Jeb has started to emerge, is attacking Obama and defending his brother. From The New York Times:
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells.
“It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don’t accept responsibility.”
In fact, instead of constantly bashing the 43rd president, Mr. Bush offered, perhaps Mr. Obama could learn something from him, especially when it comes to ignoring the Washington chatter. “This would break his heart, to get advice that applies some of the lessons of leadership my brother learned, because he apparently likes to act like he’s still campaigning, and he likes to blame George’s administration for everything,” Mr. Bush said, dangling a ketchup-soaked French fry. “But he really seems like he’s getting caught up in what people are writing about him.”
“I mean, good God, man, read a book!” Mr. Bush said with a laugh. “Go watch ESPN!”
Naturally, a Times writer cannot avoid the required Bush bashing, without which pensions will not be paid:
Washington wisdom — such as it is — holds that the real impediment to Mr. Bush’s political future would be the Bush brand, which has taken a pounding both inside the party and out. Neither George W. Bush nor his father ranks among the more successful presidents of our time, to put it politely.
Jeb Bush’s admirers insist, however, that whatever cloud existed over the name is lifting, as memories of the last Bush era recede, replaced by a hardened conservative opposition to Mr. Obama’s policies. And those who know Mr. Bush say he has never concerned himself with it. “He’s the guy who cares about that the least,” said Nicholas Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association.
We'll watch Jeb, who was a very successful governor and has the added political advantage of being married to a Hispanic woman.
Look, you never know. Dubya's beginning to look awfully good, compared to the current train wreck. And Jeb is his own guy with his own approach.
At the same time, the GOP is building up a sizable pool of presidential talent, including the old-timers like Romney and the newer-timers like Jindal. Jeb, you might just have to wait your turn.
June 23, 2010