February 3, 2016


Jeb Bush speaks to 150 in Hanover (SUNGIL AHN, February 3, 2016, The Dartmouth)

A crowd of about 150 people flocked to the Hanover Inn to see Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speak about his experience as a leader and his goals of cutting back the government, reducing the national debt and his position within the Republican Party.

The majority of people in the crowd were Upper Valley residents.

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Bush said that Republicans must pick someone who can both beat the Democratic candidate and lead the country. He said that his experiences as governor of Florida and his ability to make "tough decisions" and "solve problems" makes him the best candidate. He cited his time as the governor of Florida, where he cut taxes by $19 billion, created 1.3 million jobs, took on public unions and reduced government workforce by 11 percent as proof of his capability to lead the United States.

In addition, he questioned Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump's leadership experience. He argued that Cruz and Rubio only sponsored two bills that passed into law as senators and criticized Trump, saying "it's all about him."

He also said that he had a firm conservative standing, adding that Cruz and Rubio expanded Medicaid while he did not.

"Leadership is about having a servant's heart and a backbone to stand on what's right," Bush said. "That's what we need in America today -- we don't need another talker!"

We went to Jeb's Hanover Town Hall--his fourth of the day--last night.  It was one of those appearances, that maybe only politicians and musicians have, where you leave thinking that if everyone got to see him in that setting he'd be a superstar.  He was relaxed and surprisingly funny, though he is a serious wonk.  Both in differentiating himself from Trump/Cruz/Florio and in response to a question about the Bush name, he presented himself in the way he should have opened the campaign, describing his extraordinary record as governor and the importance of that sort of experience to a president.  He was particularly effective when he talked about how charismatic and exciting Barack Obama was 8 years ago, but then how disappointing he was in office.  And he tied that directly to the personality blinding voters to his lack of germane experience.  He then drew the inevitable comparison to the three GOP front-runners and the lack of anything in their backgrounds that suggests they'll be effective leaders.

One of the amusing things today is that one of his best lines--we assumed he'd rehearsed it--is being portrayed as desperation.  There was also a problem with the lights in the hall shutting down periodically that he handled with good humor.  

The Daughter liked him even better than John Kasich, though she wants to see Kasich again before she makes up ner mind.  We couldn't make it to Salt Hill Pub at 9am this morning for Chris Cristie, to her chagrin. And the Eldest is going to a Jeb Townhall in Portsmouth just so his sister isn't winning.  Ah, the spectacle we Hampshiremen get to enjoy every four years.

Posted by at February 3, 2016 8:17 PM