May 29, 2006
There are Other Crazy Folks Out There
by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math
Via Political Wire, we see that I'm not the only one who is girding for the possibility of a Jeb Bush '12 or '16 campaign. As with Matt Yglesias and his trenchant case for Cheney '08, Jeb Bush practically wins the 2012 Presidential nomination by default. He's perceived as more moderate that his brother, he's a popular governor of a large swing state, he's got access to fundraising dollars. In 2012, the Republican governor's bench will likely be quite thin, leaving former Bush officials (who, unlike Jeb, will be tagged with the specific failures of the Bush years in the White House), leaving only a small number of senators who have pretty clear Presidential ambitions and the appropriate age.
It may seem funny today, but I imagine in six or eight years the possibility will look much more serious.
He's perceived as more moderate that his brother
Of course, the same can be said about his brother - when he first ran.
That's a simple counter.
"In 2011 Jeb Bush says he will XXX. In 1999, George Bush said *he* would XXX. You know what happened."
"In 2011 Jeb Bush says he will YYY. In 1999, George Bush said *he* would YYY. You know what happened."
"In 2011 Jeb Bush says he will ZZZ. In 1999, George Bush said *he* would ZZZ. You know what happened."
Cut to clip of Georgie Bush - "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans | May 29, 2006 11:09:51 PM
If for whatever reasons McCain doesn't get the nomination, is there really a better choice for Republicans than Jeb in '08? Maybe it is my bias that says the Democratics have a deeper bench, but Allen, Giuliani, Pataki, Frist, Brownback, Romney just don't look viable.
Posted by: bob mcmanus | May 30, 2006 1:17:12 AM
I expect the '08 and '12 nominating processes for the Republicans to be fantastically bloody. A whole slate of fantastically arrogant, deeply flawed contenders with no clear front runner.
Posted by: NBarnes | May 30, 2006 2:05:03 AM
Matt's case for Cheney 08: not trenchant at all. Cheney can't even stay awake in public events when the press and public are watching. One of these days, it's possible he just won't wake up. Be generous and give him some time in WY or TX to spend some of his Halliburton millions.
Jeb: His recent comments indicate NO fire in his belly. His family would be a target for embarrassing facts being brought to light again. GW will be a millstone round the neck of any Republican for years to come, especially his brother. Even Jeb's mother is saying don't run. Jeb is more likely to run Halliburton than run for President.
The Republican Bench: not much worse than the Dem. bench. McCain and Rice, both deeply flawed - one too old and one with obvious 'issues' - so obvious that they don't need recital. My prediction: If not McCain, some come out of nowhere Corporate figure, as the corpcons reassert their money control over the Repub. party, mimimalizing the wingnuts.
I think it's possible that the country may be getting ready for a stronger Congress and a weaker executive - setting up lots of interesting off the wall Pres. candidates in both parties. The day of the savior/protector Pres. may be nearly over.
Posted by: JimPortlandOR | May 30, 2006 2:22:42 AM
First, Jeb in '12 presumes that a Dem (which would be Hillary, presumably, at this point) wins in 08. I like the thinking but it's not guaranteed.
Second, Jeb's moment appears to have passed. It will be hard with some 6 years out of office to regain that momentum.
Third, in addition to a mixed record as Governor, the Jeb Bushes (as a family) have a number of personal issues - not the least of which is Noelle's drug issues. These kinds of things can seriously derail even the most solid campaign.
Put all of that together, and I just don't see it (the Cheney thing seems like a total non-starter). I think GWB has been such a scorched-earth candidate that the GOP either needs a deep soul searching moment or renewed permanent minority status to get itself back together. Jeb Bush won't fix that.
Posted by: weboy | May 30, 2006 6:17:59 AM
Allen/Rice or Rice/Allen. It would make the racist base explode. To get Allen, they'd have to take Rice.
Posted by: gus | May 30, 2006 7:14:15 AM
He's perceived as more moderate that his brother
Remember, this is the guy who almost provoked a showdown between state and local police in the Terri Schiavo fiasco.
Posted by: Mike | May 30, 2006 9:41:06 AM
He's perceived as more moderate than his brother
You're right, Mike - and i think "moderate" is the wrong word in Ezra's post. He's not perceived as more moderate - he's perceived as more competent, smarter, harder-working, and less dangerous. All of which may be true as far as that comparison goes (insert your own snide joke about how many people are more competent, smarter, harder-working and less dangerous than President Bush). The Dems' job is to provide a candidate who offers a stronger basis of comparison.
JimPortlandOR, i wish i agreed with you that the President will be an albatross around the necks of Republicans for years to come, but remember how quickly the public forgot & forgave the associates of failed presidents Nixon & G.H.W. Bush. G.W. Bush will be an albatross for the Republicans (the way Carter and LBJ were for Dems) only if the Dems insist on making it so, and if they can get the media to buy into that perception the way they bought into the LBJ-Carter guilt-by-association shtick.
Posted by: TW | May 30, 2006 10:07:13 AM
Let's not forget that Dan Quayle was considered a "viable" candidate in 2000, and after he finished eighth in Iowa, reality set in. The same will happen with Jeb. He's tainted goods. Those who are saying otherwise are likely struggling to hold back laughter, or keeping their fingers crossed behind their backs.
Posted by: Rick | May 30, 2006 11:08:56 AM
Let us not forget that after all the drama and disgust of the Nixon years, we actually elected only one Democrat to the WH before running into the arms of St Ronnie. We may manage to put a Democrat into the WH in '08 but I would not rule out a '12 swing back to a Republican.
Posted by: fiat lux | May 30, 2006 11:47:14 AM
Argh. I'm glad to hear so many people here skeptical of a Jeb Bush run for president. I once said that I would hate so much for our country to go from Bush to Clinton to Bush to Clinton, that I would vote for any Republican short of Voldemort over Hillary. Well, it's pretty obvious that a third Bush in so short a time would be as bad as if not worse than a second Clinton.
There has been either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House (counting vice-president, of course) since before I was born. If Hillary somehow gets elected in 2008, then we'll have to make up a new term for our form of government — something more descriptive and specific than "alternating dynasties".
Posted by: Cyrus | May 30, 2006 11:53:12 AM
I'm not so convinced that the Republican bench will be all that thin come 2012/16 (assuming a Dem victory in 2008). Remember that W's first election victory came in 1994, two years after the president he succeeded took office. In 1990, who really thought that W was a likely presidential candidate for 2008, as opposed to say Kemp or (either) Dole? Moreover, the GOP has resovoirs of individual celebrity and money (the televangelists, the CEOs) which have certainly thrown off candidates in the past, and could do again.
Also, bear in mind that for all the talk of dynasties we like to get up to, there were no Adams's elected after John Q., and no Roosevelts after FDR. It seems vanishingly unlikely that we will see another Kennedy elected to the Presidency. It's not that Jeb would not have supporters, but I think he will seem rather stale and evocative of unpleasant memories six years from now.
Finally, on Cyrus's point about presidents since 1980 - let's not get carried away: one could also point out (as Pat Buchanan does) that there has been a Bush or Dole on every Republican ticket since 1976! Its true, but who thinks the Doles are a dynasty? And its hard to think of a less-dynastic, more meritocratic personal history than Bill Clinton's. US politics are really not all that dynastic, and being a member of a perceived dynasty - especially one that seems spent - is not necessarily an advantage.
Posted by: Rich C | May 30, 2006 10:18:29 PM
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