I’m surprised that this phrase would ever come out of my mouth, but Jeb Bush’s happiness is incredibly important to me, and I wish him nothing but happiness the rest of the way.
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was interviewed on CBS’s Face the Nation and told host John Dickerson he hated being the party’s front runner and prefers trailing the current front-runners.
Dickerson: Six months ago, people thought you were the frontrunner.
Bush: I hated that
Dickerson: You hated being the frontrunner?
Bush: I feel much better back here. I’ve always thought that there was going to be a high expectation for me, I totally get it, because I have brother that was president, a father that was president, and that higher expectation was important to realize. Being a frontrunner made me feel like the people are going to begin to say, ‘Your guy is just dancing like through this.’ I have higher expectations on me than people have on me,” he continued. “It doesn’t bother me a bit that the expectations are higher… so, I feel good about where we are right now.
Jeb Bush still doesn’t understand! Even before Donald Trump entered this race and the GOP campaign seemed to turn into a discussion about legitimate voter anger, Bush was doomed as the ultimate insider. Even though at the same time the press almost crowned him as presumptive nominee before entering the race.
And then he hit a brick wall, some will say it was Donald Trump but it was much more than that. The Donald didn’t help, but Bush’s campaign would have failed whether Trump entered the race or not. Jeb Bush’s real problem was his last name. Jeb Bush was a fine moderately conservative governor, probably to the right of the last two Republican nominees. But in this election year Jeb has two big problems–his last name and his loyalty to the Bush political machine.
To voters the name Bush means, “been there, done that.” It’s why the establishment donors rushed to support Jeb, he was known and very safe. But that’s also why the GOP base ran away from him.
Note: despite what you may have heard, the “establishment” is not homogenius nor does is it the Republican National Committee, it refers to the power donors who fund campaigns.
But the former governor of Florida has more baggage, those who served with his father and brother. Jeb didn’t do himself any favors at the beginning of the campaign when he revealed his foreign policy advising team…each and every one of them was a member of his father and/or brother’s administration. It was a public admission that a Bush presidency (at least in foreign policy) would be same old, same old.
So Jeb Bush is fifth place in the national polls as well as the Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina polls. And I am very pleased that being behind has made him happy, because as long as he continues to march out the same old advisers, and present plan that give GOP voters feelings of deja vu, Bush will languish in fifth place or worse.
Ever since Ronald Reagan left office, the GOP presented voters with “safe” candidates with “moderate” programs, who was “next in line” for the nomination. John McCain lost a wave election, Mitt Romney lost an election that was served to him on a silver platter, whether true or not, Jeb Bush is perceived as in that category.
I was at a friend’s Christmas party on Saturday night, and one by one the guests came up to me and asked the same question—how can so many voters support Trump? Don’t they realize he’s crazy?
The answer is yes they know he’s crazy but it doesn’t matter. When the party has nominated “sane” vanilla Republicans like John McCain and Mitt Romney the only thing we’ve gotten out of it is that Megan McCain has invaded our TV sets and social media. They want crazy, or to put it another way they don’t want the same moderately conservative candidate that’s been shoved in their face since the Reagan administration.
In their own way each of the four people in front of Bush; Trump, Cruz, Rubio (yes even Rubio), and Carson are outside typical GOP norm. As of today, the four represent about three-quarters of the GOP support, an indication that unless he quickly repudiates his own legacy, Mr. Same-0ld Bush, the former governor of Florida, is going to be happily behind all the way through the RNC Convention next July.