May 19, 2005


Jeb Bush builds on GOP base as Fla. gov. (BRENDAN FARRINGTON, May 19, 2005, Associated Press)

No, Gov. Jeb Bush didn't get his way this spring on class size or Terri Schiavo. But even his political foes admit he has had a remarkably effective run over the past seven years if he ever wants to follow his father and his brother into the White House.

He created the nation's first statewide school voucher program, cut taxes by billions, overhauled the election system after the hanging-chad fiasco of 2000, set aside money to restore the Everglades, stiffened Florida's criminal penalties and restricted the right to sue doctors and businesses.

He has also clearly led the Republican Party to its strongest position in modern-day Florida.

"In the last seven Legislative sessions he was able to obtain in one fashion or another everything he set out to do," said former Gov. Bob Martinez, a Republican. [...]

"He consolidated more power in the governor's office than any of the past governors and he set out a right-wing agenda and accomplished it," said former Florida Democratic Party chairman Scott Maddox, who is running for governor in 2006.

House Democratic Leader Chris Smith said: "From vouchers to his tax cuts to One Florida to supporting and sometimes promoting the conservative agenda of privatization, it has caused rancor because Florida is not a conservative state, it's a moderate state."

Bush has to leave office in January 2007 because of term limits. He has said he is not running for president in 2008, but he has not ruled out a bid later.

All of the leading GOP contenders for '08 would have to have him on their ticket, for his combination of party ties, executive experience, Southern/Christian appeal, Latino/Catholic appeal, etc.. the ideal ticket would be a John McCain pledged to one term in tandem with Jeb. They'd reduce the Democratic Party to rubble.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 19, 2005 8:41 PM

Never happen.

Posted by: Genecis at May 19, 2005 8:50 PM

I keep trying to convince you that McCain is poison. Jeb won't be the antidote. If McCain votes against the nuclear option, or spearheads a compromise that is less than a thinly disguised Dem surrender, he is toast.

I jsut heard, BTW, that Jeb's Florida equivalent of Karl Rove has told a few other operative types not to get too firmly hooked up with any one else until mid-2007, which gives Jeb about six months to decompress after his term ends. Yes, there are a lot of people who he would say that to regardless, but there would be a cost to tieing down people at the level I am talking about if he wasn't acting in good faith.

Posted by: Dan at May 19, 2005 8:52 PM

The conservative position with regards to changing Senate rules would obviously be not to. It's not a vote he'd have much trouble explaining.

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 8:57 PM

As an Arizonan, OJ just described my dream scenario. McCain/Jeb could take down Hilary and would ensure a continuation of our foreign policy emphasis. Not sure about the rest of the Republican field.

Rumor is McCain not running. May be health/age related.

Posted by: JAB at May 19, 2005 9:01 PM

He could easily serve one term though.

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 9:06 PM

McCain is toxic, CFR alone being tied to Soros should tank him.

He's too volatile.

Posted by: Sandy P. at May 19, 2005 9:19 PM


You've been through too many cold winters. I doubt 10% of the base would buy your argument.

Posted by: Dan at May 19, 2005 9:28 PM

McCain is interested in one thing only -- McCain. In particular, he seeks to do penance for his involvement with Charles Keating in the 1980s and demonstrate to the NY Times and the Washington Post that he is a Republican of whom they can be proud. This violates what I consider to be the 12th Commandment for Republicans -- DO NOT CARE HOW YOUR ACTIONS AND BELIEFS PLAY ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NY TIMES. Everything McCain has done, particularly with regard to campaign finance, must be viewed through that prism. We do not need and cannot afford a President who is so self-absorbed.
(After all, we had one of those from 1993-2001 and we see where that got us).

Posted by: Morrie at May 19, 2005 9:44 PM

I'd love to see the Times deal with McCain as the GOP standard bearer. They helped make him. Would they be willing or able to destroy him?

Posted by: JAB at May 19, 2005 9:49 PM


Do you have to ask? Of course they would try to destroy him if he were running with an (R) after his name.

Posted by: Kirk Parker at May 19, 2005 9:58 PM

McCain's attacks upon Christians would make him unlikely to win the primary; if he won the nomination, his temper and volatility would do him in in the general election. I think his opposition to ending the filibuster is a sign he's not planning to run in 2008.

Posted by: pj at May 19, 2005 10:03 PM

But McCain's biggest problem - he's stale.

Posted by: pj at May 19, 2005 10:33 PM


Peace, prosperity and a permanent Republican Congress for the first time since the Depression?

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 10:36 PM


It's a hierarchical party and it's his turn. Plus, he'd win the general easily:

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 10:41 PM

I really don't see how the NYT can destroy McCain. The question is whether he is willing to disappoint them. I think he would be under the circumstances.

Posted by: JAB at May 19, 2005 10:44 PM


so were Nixon in '68, Ford in '76, Reagan in '80, Bush in '92, Dole in '96. It's a party that gives the next guy in line his shot. It's McCain's turn if he wants it.

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 10:45 PM


How did signing CFR hurt W?

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 10:56 PM

"if he wants it":

This is Oj's way of hedging.

McCain won't run, b/c he knows he'll get trounced in the primaries. But OJ won't have to admit that he's wrong.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 19, 2005 11:29 PM


He'd skip Iowa again and then easily win NH. Without W in the race who beats him in SC and then has the organization to go toe to toe in both the Rust Belt and the South?

Posted by: oj at May 19, 2005 11:34 PM

Senator Allen of Voirginia beats him, that's who!

Posted by: obc at May 19, 2005 11:40 PM

McCain is a nut job as well as having to many bad ideas. Besides he will be 72 in 2008.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at May 20, 2005 1:55 AM

From :

2008 Presidential Nomination Odds


John Kerry: 4 to 1
Hillary Clinton: 7 to 1
Howard Dean: 8 to 1
John Edwards: 10 to 1
Barbara Boxer: 23 to 1
Joe Lieberman: 27 to 1
Mark Warner: 36 to 1
Evan Bayh: 41 to 1
Al Sharpton: 42 to 1
Russ Feingold: 43 to 1


John McCain: 7 to 1
Bill Frist: 8 to 1
Colin Powell: 9 to 1
Jeb Bush: 10 to 1
Rudy Giuliani: 16 to 1
Newt Gingrich: 16 to 1
Rick Santorum: 19 to 1
Chuck Hagel: 24 to 1
Pat Buchanan: 25 to 1
Mitt Romney: 28 to 1

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 20, 2005 2:44 AM

No one but Rudy could hope to beat McCain in the prmaries if Jeb stays out. Frist is a political empty suit, the GOP Kerry. Allen is a total unknown, most people outside Virginia thinks he is a football coach.

CFR is an issue to libertarians only. Voters just don't care, too inside baseball.

OJ is certainly right, McCain picks Jeb as the VP, he wins in a walk. Will social conservatives stay home when their guy Jeb, the president's brother to boot, would be the VP to a 72 year old cancer survivor?

Anyway, other than Ohio, the failure of religios conservatives to stay home would have zero impact on therace. Would they vote for Hillary in the South versuse a war hero?

Posted by: Bob at May 20, 2005 9:09 AM

Spell check is my friend. Too bad I did not use it.

By the way, McCain is nuts but that won't stop him.

Posted by: Bob at May 20, 2005 9:13 AM

In the GOP neophytes never defeat guys who've run national campaigns previously.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 9:22 AM

"GOP neophytes never defeat guys who've..national campaigns previously"

Dubya beat Quayle in 2000 primaries. It probably was a race to see who would butcher the English language the most. Bush won hands down. Then he merely had to knock-off McCain

Posted by: h-man at May 20, 2005 9:47 AM


No, he didn't.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 10:44 AM

McCain can still win the primary if he does something that endears him to the Right--like fighting hard for Social Security reform, or something similar in scale. But if he doesn't carry any water between now and 2008, I can't see him getting the nod even if Bush is the VP.

Posted by: Timothy at May 20, 2005 12:38 PM


"no he didn't"

OK, you're right. Bush defeated him in a straw poll, before the primaries. Picky, Picky, Picky

Posted by: h-man at May 20, 2005 2:43 PM

in 1999.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 4:27 PM

Why is Jeb Bush the VP flavor of the day ?

I thought that the Official BrosJudd Line was that Condi was to be the '08 GOP VP, or nominee.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 20, 2005 5:41 PM

No, she'll be W's VP pick in '06.

Posted by: oj at May 20, 2005 5:58 PM