November 8, 2004

REFIORMING HIS WAY TO THE OVAL OFFICE:

Gov. Bush set to finish term in high gear (MARY ELLEN KLAS AND GARY FINEOUT, 11/08/04, Miami Herald)

Buoyed by his brother's performance in Florida on Election Day, Gov. Jeb Bush is vowing to defy tradition and produce two politically potent years in the lame-duck phase of his final term.

His agenda includes making substantive changes to how Florida handles growth -- a task he has failed at more than once -- revamping how public universities are controlled, refining education reform and, with President Bush's assistance, restructuring Medicaid in a way he hopes will become a model for the nation.

''I've made a commitment to myself, to the people I love, that I serve, that I'm going to finish as strong as I started,'' Bush said last week after his brother won reelection. ``I'm not going out on . . . a slow, downward slope. I don't intend to do that.''

The victory of President Bush and Mel Martinez for U.S. Senate showed that Republicans continue to have a solid grip on the nation's fourth-largest state. But that victory may not translate into the kind of political capital for Gov. Bush that it may for his brother.

Gov. Bush is strongly supported in the Republican-led Legislature, and he will continue to benefit from the Washington access and the political pork that flow from President Bush's agencies into Florida on everything from hurricane recovery to reading.

But the political climate has changed. The governor no longer has a political campaign to hold over fellow Republicans, and his agenda will have to compete with jockeying over who will succeed him in 2006.


The idea that there are Republicans who think they can become governor of Florida by opposing the Bush brothers is lunacy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 8, 2004 8:37 AM
Comments

Why do people keep changing the definition of a lame duck Presidency?

Posted by: Chris Durnell at November 8, 2004 10:37 AM
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