December 1, 2004


W's 2nd term agenda: Set Jeb up (Zev Chafets, 12/02/04, NY Daily News)

[L]ast week, in a meeting with The Washington Times editorial board, Ken Mehlman, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, put Jeb back in the race.

Responding to a question, Mehlman mentioned eight potential candidates for 2008: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Virginia Sen. George Allen, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani - and Jeb Bush. [...]

Jeb is head and shoulders above this field. He's the popular governor of a crucial state. Fluent in Spanish, married to a Mexican, the darling of the Cuban community, he has vast appeal to the constituency the GOP most covets: Hispanics. He's conservative on social issues but comes across as less regional and ideological than his brother George. Jeb is a Southern Republican who sounds like a Democrat. In 2002, he won reelection in Florida, an evenly split state, by 13 points.

If Jeb's last name weren't Bush, he would be the obvious early favorite for 2008. But it is, and some experts believe it disqualifies him.

It's his if he wants it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 1, 2004 11:48 PM

"Fluent in Spanish"

His biggest advantage over his brother is that he is fluent in English.

Posted by: h-man at December 2, 2004 6:24 AM

"experts believe it disqualifies him"

99% of the "experts" in politics have no idea of what they are talking about.

I agree that his last name may be a problem but as the article notes his background and experience make him the strongest GOP candidate. If things are going well and W is still popular in '07/'08 then voters might go for Jeb as a continuation of W (as they did choosing Bush 41 as a continuation of Reagan).

Posted by: AWW at December 2, 2004 8:06 AM

Well, I've cast four votes for a Bush for President and one for Veep...and I'm not voting for any more Bushes. If in a nation of 300 million the GOP can't find candidates oustide of that family, then they have some problems.

Posted by: Brandon at December 2, 2004 8:21 AM

Yeah, all they've given us are 3, headed for 4, of the best presidencies in the history of the Republic, bastards...

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2004 8:38 AM

I was never a big fan of GHWB and I'm hard pressed to see his presidency as one of the best in the history of the Republic.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 2, 2004 8:59 AM


Thus 3 headed for 4, rather than 4 headed for 5.

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2004 9:26 AM

If we can have another Clinton...

Posted by: Moe from NC at December 2, 2004 9:37 AM

If a Kennedy became a viable Presidential candidate in the near future, I would not expect many articles saying the family name "discredits" said candidate. As the examples of FDR, Kennedy, and Clinton indicate, the media seem not to have a problem with dynasties, as long as they are Democratic dynasties.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at December 2, 2004 10:16 AM

OJ: Are you counting terms or presidents?

Posted by: David Cohen at December 2, 2004 10:20 AM


Well, I've cast four votes for a Bush for President and one for Veep...and I'm not voting for any more Bushes. If in a nation of 300 million the GOP can't find candidates oustide of that family, then they have some problems.
Posted by Brandon at December 2, 2004 08:21 AM

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2004 10:25 AM

Bush v. Clinton again! Yeah! What fodder for political junkies and blogs.

Seriously, Jeb makes more sense as the VP candidate with McCain (as OJ has said before) or with Rudy (my choice). Avoids some of the dynasty crap, still puts Florida in the GOP camp for sure and lets people express thanks to the President.

But OJ is surely right with his comment here. If Jeb wants it, he gets it since he would obviously be doing it with the President's blessing. Anyone whom W supports gets the nomination, period.

Posted by: Bob at December 2, 2004 10:26 AM

O yes, I remember all the crys of "no dynasty" back in 1968 when RFK was running for president. O wait, there were none (I was only 7 at the time, so I might have missed them).

Posted by: Dave W. at December 2, 2004 10:37 AM

Jeb has faced only desultory opposition in Florida both times he won. The Presidency is a bigger enchilada.

Also, there is the nagging feeling that he is far more a replica of his ijjit father than he is of his brother. My guess is that if he tries in 2008 he gets squashed before Super Tuesday.

Posted by: Bart at December 2, 2004 12:12 PM

Brandon reflects my view and Bart's comments, though a bit overblown, make sense. Bob has the right approach in my opinion, V.P. if we must, but I wouldn't be that happy with it. Why not a run for the Senate?

Posted by: genecis at December 2, 2004 12:35 PM

Jeb could be Condi's running mate, though.

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 2, 2004 1:03 PM

Can someone explain why McCain's name keeps showing up on these lists of potential candidates? Was Campaign Finance Reform a good thing? Being a war hero may get you respect, but it doesn't get you any votes.

Posted by: flanman at December 2, 2004 1:16 PM

It's popular with voters.

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2004 1:18 PM

Remember, Comrades, this is a dynasty (EEEEVIL! EEEEVIL!):

Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Bush...

And This Is NOT a dynasty:

Kennedy, Johnson, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy...

Posted by: Ken at December 2, 2004 1:42 PM

If CFR were popular, wouldn't Granny D have approached 45% of the vote?

I suspect it is only 'popular' with voters who read the Times (both), the Globe, the Post, and TNR.

John and Mary Q. Public from Broken Bow, if they thought about the issue for a few minutes, would support the simplest possible answer: no limits with immediate full disclosure on the web.

The simplest answer is best. But don't expect McCain to ever agree. He has become a mandarin.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 2, 2004 2:11 PM


you'll likely have noted it passed both houses of Congress and was signied into law then upheld by the Court.

It's striking that John Kerry never achieved such a thing during his career.

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2004 2:17 PM

The idea of CFR was popular, voters do not like to feel as if they are for sale. However, the reality was a disaster.

The Congress will never accept the kind of constitutionally permissible CFR that is necessary, i.e. disclosure of contributors names, and amounts contributed.

Posted by: Bart at December 2, 2004 4:28 PM

The same liberals who gave Ted Kennedy a pass on manslaughter just because his brother was the youngest, hansomest President in history would have a fit if Jeb Bush tried to be the first President Bush and would do everything in their power to stop it.

Buut, since they did everything in their power to stop the current President Bush, I'd say Jeb still has a pretty good shot.

Posted by: MarkD at December 2, 2004 10:14 PM