February 20, 2015

SMART MAN, sTUPID POLITICS:

The New World Order (John Dickerson, 2/19/15, Slate)

If there were questions about whether Jeb Bush is like his brother, he dispelled some of them on Wednesday at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In November 1999, candidate George Bush scored only 25 percent when a Boston television political reporter gave him a pop quiz on world leaders. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, displayed a command of the world on topics from Cuba to ISIS to the relationship between energy and American security. He surpassed his brother at a far earlier period in this cycle. He also surpassed his 2016 rivals Govs. Chris Christie and Scott Walker, who have had trouble clearing the foreign policy hurdle easily.

Jeb Bush may or may not have wise opinions, but as David Axelrod writes in his recent book about Barack Obama's 2008 presidential race, a candidate can convey strength by passing confidently through the tests on the campaign trail. For some voters that may be enough. Bush showing he knows the name of the president of Egypt, can correct his questioner about events in Tunisia, and can name the precise location of the Iraqi prison that once held the current leader of ISIS will be sufficient. More important for the coming Republican primary, Bush was optimistic. "We are a country in its ascendancy," he said. "We just need to start acting like it." If sustained, confidence mixed with optimism is an attractive combination in a candidate. 



Posted by at February 20, 2015 10:30 AM
  

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