December 19, 2015

THE FACE OF THE GOP:

Jeb Bush (Jr.) Has a Very Bright Political Future : Millennial, Hispanic, bipartisan: The candidate's son embodies Jeb's theory of how the GOP can win the White House.  (David Freedlander, December 17, 2015, Bloomberg)

On a recent visit to New Hampshire to make the generational case for his father, Jeb Jr. spent the evening with a dozen members of the St. Anselm College Republicans, (an event which, like most of Bush Jr.'s outreach, was off-limits to the press) then gamely sat down with 15 members of the Londonderry New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce to convince them that all was well with his father's campaign.

Dressed in a blue blazer, Brooks Brothers button-down, khaki pants, and cowboy boots reminiscent of his uncle George's, Jeb Jr. sat at attention as representatives from a legal services company, a paper printer, the Miss New Hampshire pageant and the like spun their services and asked their chamber-mates for referrals.

When it came to his turn, Bush talked about his own experience in small business. "Over the last seven years I have been extremely blessed," he said. "I started a small business with my dad called Jeb Bush and Associates. He was Jeb Bush, And I was the associate.

"I learned a lot from my dad--learned that he is the hardest working person I have ever met. He is a total grinder. One of the nerdy sayings he has is 'small strokes fell great oaks.' And those are words he lives by. You are seeing a lot in this crazy primary season, especially as the guy with crazy hair makes a lot of noise, but the campaign is focused on working really hard...not just going out and screaming and yelling but listening and learning."
He went on to tout his father's record in Florida, instilling conservative values, and disrupting the education system. 


Jeb Jr.'s diction is classic Bushian stumbling delivered in a bushy-tailed millennial tone: "Having a foreign policy where we lead from the front and not the back, that is how we get our country back. So it's been a total blast." He's charming, unceasingly optimistic, and no one would call him low-energy. Prior to the campaign, he may have been most famous for being arrested as a 21-year-old for public drunkenness and resisting arrest in Austin--though such antics have not always stood in the way of distinguished political careers.

Jeb Jr. is an avatar of his father's original operating theory of the campaign--"lose the primary in order to win the general" (of which only the first part seems to be going OK). He embodies an answer to the GOP's demographic problems with Hispanics and millenials. As a political creature, he's a kind of hybrid of old-line GOP and Obaman transcendence. "I'm trying to campaign everywhere equally and do it in a way that is hopeful and optimistic for Dad," Jeb Jr. said in an interview after the event. "You know, he's trying to not just win the primary, but win the general, and more importantly get to Washington and try to actually do something. He's not trying to get a Fox News contract, or sell books, or something like that."

Posted by at December 19, 2015 9:10 PM

  

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