“Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is today’s mushy moderate candidate who may well follow in the footsteps of a whole string of similar losers, from Mitt Romney and John McCain in recent elections, all the way back to Thomas E. Dewey, who managed to lose even in an election where three different Democrats were on the ballot, fragmenting that party’s vote.” — Thomas Sowell, esteemed economist, author, columnist
I hadn’t planned on starting to comment on presidential candidates quite so early. But, I thought George Hewes’ recent article, “JUST GO AWAY: The Case Against Jeb Bush for President”, made some excellent points that I wanted to share. It’s relatively brief, but I urge you to read the whole thing. Here are the passages that stood out for me:
“Far too many Democrat operatives and pundits have said they fear Jeb Bush more than any of his GOP rivals. This is a trap, and a pretty obvious one. All that matters is how the candidate matches up against Madam Secretary.
Giving Jeb the nomination neutralizes some of the best arguments against Hillary. She’s a relic from the 20th century? So is Jeb. She’s a longtime member of the political ruling class who thinks she’s entitled to the presidency because of her last name? So is Jeb. She supports an immigration policy that rewards lawbreakers and dilutes our cultural identity? So does Jeb. She’s charisma-challenged and is propped up not by grassroots enthusiasm but rather by the largesse of big money donors? So is–you get the idea….
After a weak menu of options in 2012, the GOP candidates this time are young, diverse and inspiring. Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul -– any of them would be a great contrast to Hillary. Whether we like it or not, much of politics in the 21st century has to do with optics and imagery. A successful candidate absolutely must be articulate and good on television. Just imagine the debates in the fall of 2016 with the right candidate. Any of the aforementioned GOP candidates would play the part of the youthful, bold JFK-type figure against the older, stiff, and uncharismatic Nixon….
[D]oes anyone really believe Jeb has the fire in his belly to counterpunch against the viciousness that the Clinton campaign is sure to throw at him? Walker, by contrast, has fought cage matches against the left in Wisconsin and come away victorious each time. Cruz is a skilled orator who has fought members of his own party in the Senate as well as Democrats. The times call for a silver-tongued pugilist, not a patrician too gentlemanly to return fire….
[T]he fastest way to defeat is to pick a moderate who stands for nothing, excites no one and lacks the stomach for the blood sport of presidential campaigning. A Jeb Bush nomination would continue that trend.”
More can be said, of course, about Jeb’s record, positions, attributes — both good and bad. None of the other candidates, including the ones mentioned, is perfect, either. But, Hewes does an admirable job of summarizing the anti-Jeb case, and we’re still in pre-primary season….