February 20, 2015

SURPRISE! HE'S GOOD AT POLITICS:

Jeb Bush's speech today really had nothing to do with his family (Chris Cillizza, February 18, 2015, Washington Post)

Given the sort-of-out-of-nowhere nature of what Jeb said on his family -- and the fact that the "I am my own man" line was included in the excerpts shipped to reporters (including this one) Tuesday night, it seems very clear what Jeb (and his team) were up to. This was a trial balloon for how (and how much) Jeb will -- and will have to -- talk about the Bush name in the campaign to come. His people are smart and, therefore, were well aware that the lines about his family would dominate coverage and overshadow a speech decidedly light on specifics. That level of press coverage and scrutiny will function, at some level, as a sort of gauge for how much leeway (or not) Bush has to talk about his brother and father (or not talk about his brother and father).

Assuming the Bush folks did this on purpose -- and I am very strongly suspicious that they did -- then it's a very smart strategic move.  Begin the airing of the major issue for Jeb -- his last name and all it means -- even before he is a candidate in a speech that will draw lots of attention from the politics-starved political media. Measure reaction and adjust accordingly.

Posted by at February 20, 2015 10:53 AM
  

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