No, Jeb, No

So, it is semi-official:

…As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.

In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans…

Just to be clear, I voted for the elder Bush in 1988 and 1992. I voted for W. in 2000 and 2004. I helped to write this blog when it was “Blogs for Bush”. Heck, I even voted for Jeb on his first, unsuccessful run for Florida governor in 1994. If you’re listening out there, Jeb, then do lay this to heart: you will never be President of the United States.

There is, of course, the very high hurdle of getting the nomination in a party where the base is ticked off that we went with two moderates in a row and got creamed. But supposing you manage to get past that and win the nomination – the presumptive nominee is going to be Hillary and in the public mind, there is no contest: the people will pick a Clinton before they’ll pick a Bush. If you are the nominee then the whole of 2016 will be an endless, nauseating, false and disgusting rehash of all the BUSH LIED!!!!1!! nonsense from 2004 and 2008…Obama will be off the table. It’ll all be about your older brother, and the promise that Hillary can restore the peace and prosperity of the late 1990’s. You will lose, and lose rather badly – and even if the Democrats go full kook and turn to Warren, you’ll still lose because your last name is Bush.

I’m one of the people who have always held that you take what you can get – that even if the GOP nominee isn’t what I really wanted (Mitt was my 6th or 7th choice in 2012), you still back that nominee as the Democrat alternative is always much worse. In 2016, if you’re the nominee, then I’m writing in Bobby Jindal. And that is how it will go…you’ll win Independents by double digits over Hillary, but her base will be vastly more motivated than yours, and you’ll lose…and probably by a bigger electoral margin than McCain did in 2008.

Just don’t do it, Jeb – if you really are listening, then listen to common sense: you can’t win. Stay out.

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15 thoughts on “No, Jeb, No

  1. Amazona December 17, 2014 / 12:16 am

    Two words to explain the big NO to Jeb Bush: Common Core

    • Retired Spook December 17, 2014 / 9:56 am

      I’m not too hot on his stance on immigration either, but Common Core would be enough for me to not vote for Jeb. Too bad because, by all accounts, he was a good governor in Florida — even known as a friend to education and an enemy to teacher’s unions. The more people learn about Common Core, the more unpopular it is, so it’s possible that, by the time primary season rolls around in 13 months, supporting it will not be a viable position.

      • Amazona December 17, 2014 / 10:16 am

        I, too, had a pretty good opinion of Jeb based on his performance as governor of Florida. It’s his comments and positions since he left that office, including his support for Common Core, that have made me realize that this would be the Bush it would take to make W look like a hard-core conservative by comparison.

      • M. Noonan December 17, 2014 / 1:29 pm

        Yeah – don’t get me wrong; I don’t dislike Jeb Bush. He’s wobbly on Common Core, but he actually tracks closely with me on immigration (which I know is a decidedly minority opinion in the GOP)…I just know he won’t win, and I won’t vote for him because I won’t give my vote to someone who is a member of a political dynasty ever again.

  2. Cluster December 17, 2014 / 8:37 am

    While I can’t ever imagine pulling the lever for Jeb Bush, I say let him run. I want a large diverse primary field where the voters have lots of options and the candidates are challenged to answer tough questions and take positions. The field is wide open with many qualified candidates ranging from grass root conservative to establishment place holders, unlike the Democrats who seem to be offering up more of the same inexperienced, incompetent, elitist government bureaucrats.

    Speaking of incompetent bureaucrats, this is an interesting article:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/16/obama-presidential-memoranda-executive-orders/20191805/

    • Amazona December 17, 2014 / 10:26 am

      And I see a large and, as you say, “diverse” primary field as nothing more than a messy brawl that will only benefit the Left, and show discord and lack of unity on the Right. I see absolutely no benefit whatsoever in having potential GOP candidates attacking each other, doing Hillary’s work for her. And why would we even want a “diverse” field anyway? All that would accomplish would be more divisiveness in a party already fighting to hold itself together, with Republicans going after each other on, you guessed it, ISSUES. And nothing is more divisive than issues.

      I would much rather see a strong consensus favoring a strong conservative, and then have that person run on GOVERNMENT, pointing out that most of the issues that will be the focal point of Hillary’s campaign are not even federal issues, and should be fought out at the state level. Bickering and infighting are making people even more cynical about politics, so promoting those behaviors in our own party seems counterproductive. I’d much rather skip the familial infighting and backstabbing, get behind a solid candidate from the get-go, and then run a positive and upbeat campaign as a contrast to what we already know, given our knowledge of Hillary, will be filthy on their side.

      BTW, this is based to a large extent on what I saw in Colorado. The party got behind a good candidate, Cory Gardner, who then ran a clean and positive campaign, unlike the vile and vicious campaign run by incumbent Mark Udall. We really need to learn from this.

      • M. Noonan December 17, 2014 / 1:27 pm

        I don’t think I mind a large field – that will generate more excitement on the GOP side; though, of course, with more risk, too. But I’ve got to say that I’m really concerned about Jeb’s proposal – he’s got to know he can’t win, unless he’s just got that Presidential grub in him and it won’t come out save by defeat. The only beneficiary of a Bush run in 2016 in Hillary. Of course, a lot of big money guys will like this – but, they’ll also like Christie if he gets in, and maybe Bush’s real ploy here is to keep Mitt out? Both of them are liked by the same big money people…so, Bush in means Mitt’s frozen out: beneficiary, Christie (who I would vote for, but who would also be a sure-loser in my opinion).

        Jindal, Walker, Cruz – those are my three top choices, with the understanding that Walker is probably our best shot at a victory, especially if teamed up with Martinez or Sandoval (Sandoval is already getting pressure to run against Reid in 2016…word I’ve heard is that he’d rather have bleach poured in his eyes than run for Senator, but we’ll see how the pressure works on him…plus, taking down Reid would cement a GOP hero status for him, thus opening up a very real chance at the White House for him in 2020 if the GOP loses in 2016, or 2024 if we win).

        Jeb’s plan, from what I gather, is to go heavily after Independents and use them to win – probably admitting that a lot of conservatives would stay home, his hope is to motivate moderates to such a degree that it more than makes up for it. To me, that is a disastrous status…the moderates who don’t vote don’t vote because they don’t care…and they aren’t going to be suddenly convinced to care by the prospect of a third Bush presidency. On the other hand, Cruz is apparently going a “screw the moderates” route and will try to leverage conservatives to be white-hot enthusiastic about a Cruz presidency. This has a much better chance of producing a victory…there are millions of conservatives who didn’t vote in 2008 or 2012…and especially in 2012, enough didn’t vote to make the difference (2008, even if they all had voted, we probably still would have lost…Obama just go so many “don’t care” voters to the polls that year to vote for the first black President…Hillary counts on duplicating that with the first woman President; she’ll fail…unless her base is motivated, she can’t win).

      • Retired Spook December 17, 2014 / 2:47 pm

        Jindal, Walker, Cruz – those are my three top choices

        Based on his performance as Governor, Walker would make the best president of the three. Jindal looks great on paper, and has done a lot of things of which I approve, but his approval rating in his home state is dismal — in the mid 30’s in the latest poll I could find, and 2/3 of those polled in Louisiana said he should not run for President. Cruz is probably the most capable and credible of being able to articulate the need for smaller, Constitutional government, but also the least likely to be able to be elected as both the media and the establishment wings of both parties hate him. I’m more and more convinced that there aren’t more than about 20-25% of Americans, at least Americans who vote, who want smaller, less intrusive government. Absent another Ronald Reagan, who can turn that 20-25% into a majority coalition, I don’t see a bright future. I’d love to be wrong.

      • M. Noonan December 18, 2014 / 12:30 am

        Cruz is betting that he can re-do Reagan. Jindal is my first choice not based upon electability, but based upon my judgement of his intellect…I really think he’s about the smartest man we’ve got. Smarter than the next 1,000 Democrats, to be sure…but, you’re right, he has made his enemies in Louisiana. This, of course, is because he did challenge the political and economic establishment – but Walker did that, too, and much more crucially: he’s actually set Wisconsin on the path to becoming a Red State…as long as the next governor or two doesn’t undo the reforms of union dues, by 2024 we can count that State as reliably in our corner, I think. And, so, I think that Walker is probably our most formidable candidate – he has been kitchen-sinked thrice now and survived…and no real scandal has been unearthed about him. He knows how to fight very, very hard against the left but do it in a way which doesn’t alienate a majority. Teamed up with someone like Governor Martinez of New Mexico, and that just might be an unbeatable combination, no matter whom the Democrats nominate. Main thing, if Cruz, Walker or Jindal are nominated, I’ll be enthusiastic in my support…a bit less so if, say, Rand Paul got the nomination (but more so than if Christie got it).

      • Cluster December 17, 2014 / 8:16 pm

        Because I don’t know enough about each candidate to make a decision. I want to know what Scott Walkers positions are, what Rubio’s are, what Portman’s are, what Kasich’s are, what Jindal’s are, etc., etc. I want them all to chime in so I can make my decision.

      • M. Noonan December 18, 2014 / 12:32 am

        Indeed, there is a bit of blank slate on all of them – but Walker’s taking on the unions is crucial…and he’s the guy, I think, who can sew together RINOs and TEA Partiers (Jindal could, too, but he doesn’t have as much political street cred, as it were, as Walker does).

      • Amazona December 20, 2014 / 11:47 am

        Mark, I’m wondering how you define “excitement”. When I ask people what they think of politics, or why they are turned off by politics, the two answers are “corruption” and “bickering”.

        Get a group of Republicans bickering with each other, picking at each other, squabbling and snarling, and all you have is a gift to the Left. Right now it looks like a catfight between Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton. Fine. Let them fight it out, with Joe Biden bumbling in and out of frame to add some humor.

        Oh, I’m quite sure the Right will continue to repeats its most glaring mistakes all the way through the whole election cycle, because we are pretty much locked into the Same Old Same Old, and the establishment likes it that way.

        My preference would be to have all the possibles sort themselves out long before the primaries, and then to have two or maybe three, at the most, in a primary. Colorado learned its lesson, and the last election cycle was very interesting. The only real statewide primary we had was to choose our candidate for governor. One potential candidate refused to debate, saying he refused to tear other Republicans down. Those who did debate did it without rancor or personal attack, sticking to policies and refusing to insult any of the other candidates. The chosen candidate ran a lackluster campaign, and still came within a point or two of unseating the incumbent, but we picked up a Senate seat by refusing to bicker and quibble and Cory Gardner running a clean and upbeat campaign.

      • M. Noonan December 20, 2014 / 1:05 pm

        Oh, I’d much prefer if we just had Jindal, Walker and Cruz (wonk, fighter, TEA Party) on the nomination ballot – but when it comes to Presidential politics, getting someone to gracefully step aside and let the other guy do it is rare. We could have a score of people seeking the GOP nomination…to be sure, that’ll be sifted down pretty swiftly. By the time we get to Florida, we’ll probably be down to three or four contenders.

        I agree with the general GOP concept of getting the primaries over early, having an early convention and then getting to it…but what I don’t like is people who announce in December of 2014 that the are forming a committee for the 2016 election. Jeb doesn’t need an exploratory committee – he’s just trying to keep Christie and Mitt out (all three being the potential standard-bearers of Establishment Republicanism). I don’t know if it actually could be done, but I do wonder if party rules could be set so that no one can in any way throw their hat into the Presidential ring until 364 days before the election. Obviously, even under such a rule, a candidate could still go visit Iowa and New Hampshire as often as he likes…but to start raising money and hiring staff: I’d have them wait…I’d like our primary season to run from November to March; have the convention in May.

        One other thing – with so many potentially strong candidates for the GOP, I wonder if the later the announcement, the better? After all, Jeb is already in – over the next few months, a bunch of others will say they are getting in…the smart play might be to let these guys go at each other and become old news, and then in November of next year, make the grand announcement…

      • Amazona December 20, 2014 / 12:03 pm

        Spook, you say ” I’m more and more convinced that there aren’t more than about 20-25% of Americans, at least Americans who vote, who want smaller, less intrusive government.”

        I guess my question would be, how is that choice presented to people asking for their preference?

        What I mean is, if you just throw out the question “Do you want smaller government?” the answer might very well be no, because people automatically assume this means fewer government benefits. I think the question “Do you want less intrusive government?” you might get a different answer, after the debacles of Obamacare and the IRS antics, but still, these are questions that depend on a certain level of political understanding and awareness.

        I think a candidate who forms the questions a little differently is likely to get a different response. So the question “Do you think government is more efficient if most of the power and authority are in Washington DC, in the federal government, or locally in your state government?” might get a lot more responses favoring state control. Better yet, ask “Do you want the federal government to have most of the power and authority, or would you rather have it less powerful and have more decisions made at the state level?”

        What I am getting at is that one approach to asking people about “smaller government” implies that much of what we have come to expect from ‘the government’ would just go away, while the other is to assume that pretty much the same things would be available to people, but just administered closer to home, where policies and programs can be tailored to local needs and where there is more oversight. The first approach, “Do you want smaller government?” or even “Do you want less intrusive government?” calls for more of a yes-or-no answer, while the second encourages discussion, such as how tax dollars would have to be reallocated to allow states to pick up what are now federal programs (if the states vote to do so) and how much money would be saved by eliminated a bloated federal agency where every dollar going in comes out minus a chunk that stuck to the fingers of that agency.

  3. Harley December 17, 2014 / 12:25 pm

    Besides, Jeb, like the former 2 Bushes is probably a Bohemian Grover.

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