September 21, 2011

WHOEVER IS THE MOST LIKE W GETS THE NOMINATION:

Jeb Bush and Florida's Education Success (Carl M. Cannon - September 21, 2011, Real Clear Politics)

When the 2012 presidential campaign season began, some GOP insiders thought their best candidate, all things being equal, might be the former governor of another Southern state. Jeb Bush was an unalloyed conservative and proven vote-getter who'd presided over a strong economy in a big state while posting a record of legislative achievement so impressive that his nickname was "King Jeb."

His name was the two-term Florida governor's problem when it came to any possible aspirations of national office: Not the Jeb part, or even the showy modifier, but rather the surname. It was universally believed, apparently by Jeb Bush himself, that four years wasn't enough time to counteract the "Bush fatigue" attendant to his oldest brother's last year in the White House.

Unexpectedly, however, a governor who walks and talks a lot more like George W. Bush than his own brother and who served under Bush in Austin has emerged as the 2012 presidential front-runner.

It's probably too late for Jeb Bush to reconsider his 2012 options, but it's certainly not too late to give his record in Tallahassee a second look. And in no area did Bush have more of an impact than in education policy.

"Governor Bush has been at the forefront of education reform," said Michael W. Grebe, president of the Bradley Foundation, which has donated generously to education reform projects, while honoring Jeb Bush earlier this year. "During his administration and since, Florida students have made incredible gains."

Today, improving America's public schools is a cause ostensibly embraced by both political parties. Twelve years ago, however, when Jeb Bush became governor of the Sunshine State, it was a partisan minefield -- and there was little reason to believe that government could turn things around quickly or decisively. That's what seems to have happened in Florida, however, with ripple effects that have spilled out across the country.


Posted by at September 21, 2011 6:42 PM
  

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