July 30, 2015

THE PARTY GROWN-UP OF THE GROWN-UP PARTY:

How Bush Runs as the Party Grown-Up (Francis Wilkinson, 7/30/15, Bloomberg View)

In one of the most remarkable political comments of recent years, Bush said last fall that a Republican candidate had to be willing to lose the primary to win the general election. Bush didn't have to explain why. His premise was widely understood as an expression of concern about his party's affinity for candidates promising a demolition derby in Washington.

So far, he's running as if he meant it. Bush's strategy might be called grownupism. He doesn't just turn down invitations to stoke anger, he treats them as opportunities to show restraint. [...]

Trump's success has allowed Bush to run not only as the unapologetic establishment candidate he is, but as a challenge to Trumpism and the anti-government extremism it represents. (At least what it represents this week; it's possible that Trumpism is not an ideologically fixed manifesto.) While many of his party's voters are dreaming of mass deportation of undocumented, largely Hispanic immigrants, Bush keeps finding ways to remind them why his Spanish is so fluent.

"We are very Hispanic in the sense that we speak Spanish at home," Bush said to Telemundo -- in Spanish -- referring to his wife and children. "Columba is very Mexican. She is proud of her U.S. citizenship naturally, but we eat Mexican food at home. Our children are Hispanic in many aspects, and we don't talk about that. But yes, the Hispanic influence in my family is something quite important in my life."

None of this would be possible without the enormous assets Bush brings to the campaign -- his fundraising prowess, his name recognition and his family's political network. 

Posted by at July 30, 2015 5:53 PM
  

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