May 31, 2005

THE FAVORITE IF HE RUNS (via Daniel Merriman):

'08: DUELING DYNASTIES? (John Podhoretz, May 31, 2005, NY post)

LET me build the perfect 2008 Republican candidate for you. He would be a governor, because recent history demonstrates the nearly insuperable advantage governors (Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush the Younger) have when it comes to running for president.

He would be from a populous state, because his success there statewide might win him 10 percent of the electoral-college votes he would need on Election Day.

He would have to be acceptable to social conservatives with resolute stands on social issues like abortion, because the Bush victory in 2004 demonstrated the importance of being able to bring evangelical churchgoers to the polls. But in manner and style he should be easygoing, in order to undercut the ability of Democrats and the mainstream media to paint him as a crazed extremist.

He should have particular appeal to Hispanics, because (again) the Bush 2004 victory was built in part on pulling Hispanic voters away from the Democratic Party. And he should probably have Southern credentials, because the GOP has to be able to rely on the votes of the solid South to prevail in the Electoral College.

Fortunately for the GOP, there is a dream candidate that fits all these categories and more. But remember, nightmares are dreams too. And the candidate described here is, nightmarishly, the brother of the current president and the son of the president two guys back.

Strange that RFK and Teddy were only considered presidential material because they were a president's brothers--but we're supposed to rule out Jeb for the same reason? He has all of W's advantages and then some, with none of his weaknesses.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2005 10:45 AM

Jeb would have crushed Gore in 2000, if only he had won his first run for gov. The fact that he would be the 3rd from a family is why he's a no-go.

Posted by: b at May 31, 2005 10:57 AM

He has his own weaknesses, including a somewhat shaky nuclear family, but I'd have no problem with his candidacy.

It is, though, indescribably weird that it's the Bush family in this position.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 31, 2005 11:16 AM

I haven't followed him much, but isn't he going to seem just a bit nebbish or timid, following his (plainly declarative) brother?

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 31, 2005 11:17 AM

It would amplify BDS to a psychotic level.

Posted by: Gideon at May 31, 2005 1:06 PM


Jeb can be right forceful, and frequently is.


On balance, his family is an asset, though not free of blemishes

Posted by: Dan at May 31, 2005 1:14 PM

As noted around the web, if HRC runs, it negates any legacy or nepotism issues right off the bat.

Plus, Evan Bayh, Harold Ford, Pat DeWine, and Lisa Murkowski have crossed the bar as well (among others). And Teddy sits in the Senate, where he has been since 1962, the biggest political leech in the Northern Hemisphere.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 31, 2005 1:48 PM

Won't happen in 2008. If it does it will be a Dole redux.

Posted by: Genecis at May 31, 2005 2:03 PM


Hopefully. Bob Dole kept a sitting president under 50% at a time of ahistorical peace and prosperity. Had Perot withdrawn and backed him, as they discussed, he might even have won.

Jeb/Condi, running as the incumbents in that scenario, would likely get to 55+%.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2005 2:49 PM

Jeb is my gov and he has never seemed timid. His wife is not as grounded as Laura but we'll tolerate a little nuttiness because she is quite glamorous. He's got a daughter who has had some problems, but that's his business.

Whatever happened to the really good looking son of Jeb? George Prescott Bush? I'd vote for him. Now you know why Mr. Judd is against women voting. Occasionally we get a good looking male candidate but Angelina Jolie isn't ever going to run.

Mr. Judd: You forget JFK, Jr. in your Kennedy president hopefuls list. You know, if the plane hadn't crashed he'd be president by now ;).And all the related Kennedys who may not be considered presidential material but somehow are automatically considered viable candidates any number of political positions.

Posted by: Buttercup at May 31, 2005 9:13 PM

Junior was considered dumb even by Kennedy standards, though not as dumb as Joe.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2005 9:17 PM

Let's not forget Patches of Rhode Island (Unsteady Eddie's son). He's a worthy and appropriate replacement for Chafee the Younger.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 31, 2005 10:47 PM