Is America Ready for President Jeb Bush?

Jeb Bush just might be running for president. The former Florida governor is out pushing a book, while busily flip-flopping on immigration to try to appeal both to the GOP base and the middle.

If Jeb was just a random former governor, that wouldn’t be big news. After all, pretty much every Governor sees themself as a future president. Of course, Jeb is not just a random former governor. He’s the son of one president, and the brother of another. Clearly, the Bushes know how to win the presidency. Can they do it again?

Had Jeb Bush won his 1994 campaign for governor of Florida, this probably wouldn’t be a question. Jeb was considered the go-getter in the family, and while both he and his older brother George ran campaigns for governor that year, it was accepted by many observers that Jeb was the Bush brother with the bright political future.

Jeb lost, however, to Lawton Chiles. George won his election in Texas, while Jeb wouldn’t win office until 1998, too late to challenge for the 2000 election. George had 5 years in office, and his father’s network of donors and supporters; he won the presidency in 2000, at least technically.

Had George W. Bush’s presidency not been an unmitigated disaster, Jeb might have had a shot in 2008 or 2012. Of course, Dubya’s time in office was best known as a time of a stuttering economy and a disastrous war of choice, punctuated by a near-depression.

This is the reason that Republicans have spent the last five years pretending that George W. Bush was never actually president. Occasionally, a Republican will mention Obama’s “predecessor,” but you’ll rarely hear them grapple with the policies and positions of a wildly unpopular president.

Jeb Bush has no such luxury. Even if you credit Jeb with being the more competent of the Bush brothers, you’re still comparing him with Dubya.

Jeb would like to be viewed more like his father, George H.W. Bush, who is remembered as a relatively moderate, pragmatic Republican. Unfortunately, that’s not an image he can lean on too heavily; the Republican base still is bitter about George H.W. Bush’s willingness to accept tax increases to lower the deficit, and the elder Bush was a one-term president. Since Herbert Hoover lost in 1928, only Bush and Jimmy Carter have failed to win re-election.

Moreover, it’s questionable whether Jeb can position himself as a new Poppy. Dubya, you may recall, ran in 2000 as a “compassionate conservative,” then spent the next eight years demonstrating a startling lack of compassion coupled with something beyond conservatism. As the younger President Bush once said, fool me once…you can’t get fooled again.

That’s not to say that there’s no good side to Jeb running — at least if you’re a Democrat. A Jeb Bush candidacy probably prevents a presidential run by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. It also makes life more difficult for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as both Jeb and Christie would be working to win the same voters — the moderate, sensible part of the GOP.

But can Jeb win? I doubt it. George W. Bush was a startlingly bad president. No matter what Jeb does, he can’t avoid being connected to his older brother. Maybe the American people’s memory is shorter than I think it is, but I just don’t believe the country is ready for another President Bush.


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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Diane L.
Diane L.2 years ago

Robby, that makes zero sense. Obama was BORN in Honolulu, which is U.S. SOIL, and at the time of his birth, a STATE, so he was BORN a U.S. citizen. Columbia is an American University, so he wouldn't have been a foreign exchange student unless he had given up his citizenship. His FATHER was a foreign exchange student at a university where his parents met. Check this out for yourself. It's all in Obama's biography and not just in Wikipedia. Obama went to Harvard, I believe, not Columbia, as did his father after he left Hawaii.

Nick, I'll send you a PM to tell you my "story". While chatting about dogs is always an enjoyable topic for me, it's a bit off topic here :)

Robby K.
Past Member 2 years ago

Diane- apparently he was a foreign exchange studebt at Columbia. My big problemn w/him, in addition to his apparent disrespect for our Constitution is that he originally promised the most transparent admin in history, only to make it the most shrouded in secrecy. Why the name change for instance? Why keep his college transcripts sealed? Just simple questions I would think everyone in the free world would be entitled too.

One of many:

As for this original topic- again- no, I'm not interested in any more Bush family presidents...

Nick Andrews
Nico Smart2 years ago

Hi Diane, I would be interested in hearing your story. No, I never would approach a strange (unknown) dog like that. Never been bitten and don't care to be. I always approach from low down and let them smell my hands from a 'safe' distance, then slowly get closer. Several times friends have been shocked when a growling dog stops growling and then suddenly becomes friendly to me. Talking to them calmly helps, but the scent is the key as far as I have found. Friends and I were down in Puerto Penasco (top of the Gulf of California) for Spring Break one time with their GSD Omega and their Chowbrador Stormy sitting at a little bar having food and drinks. People would come up and point to Omega and ask 'can I pet the wolf?'! She was a big, mean-looking (to some) GSD, but not even remotely aggressive in any way at all. In fact, she was terrified of gorilla masks. She died from bowel inversion about seven years ago. Great dog.

Diane L.
Diane L.2 years ago

Robby, what is the point of whether or not he was a foreign exchange student? Barack was not, his father was said to be, but the point is that HE was born to a Hawaiian citizen IN Hawaii, which is a U.S. state.

Not sure what the comments are about regarding BHO's brother. As far as I know, he doesn't have one. Even if he did, THIS discussion is actually about Jeb Bush, but it seems we've forgotten that.

Nick, as was said, NEVER, EVER pat a dog on the head palm down, unless it's YOUR dog and you are very familiar with it. Approaching a dog with a raised hand, palm down is an invitation to be bitten as it's perceived as a threat, same as making eye-to-eye contact. When I first adopted my present GSD, I had a private trainer help me with her as she had serious issues.........NOT socialized. Last "class" was to take her out in Petco. It was amazing at how stupid some people can be, approaching a 110-lb. dog known to be of an "aggressive" breed and say, "Oh, can I pet your dog"...........with an already raised hand and the "question" was just a formality as they were already in the process of attempting to do it. My trainer was about to have her blood boil and we had to chastise one woman who thought it was perfectly FINE for her young son to approach a strange dog twice his size and pet her because "he liked dogs". Problem was, my dog didn't like PEOPLE! If you're interested, I will PM you with my story about befriending a formerly abused GSD

Nick Andrews
Nico Smart2 years ago

Don, do you think war with Iran or Syria is more likely? Most evidence points to chemical weapons that were in Iraq having gone over the border into Syria to terrorist groups there. And now some Senators have actually broached the subject of war with Syria in public. Me, I say we stay out of there and let them fight each other, as they have for recorded history. We should never go in on the ground and try to occupy the place.

Nick Andrews
Nico Smart2 years ago

Hi Don, good point. Even after thousands of years of 'domestication', dogs still have innate instincts of self preservation, unlike many people.

As for BHO and his brother, only two people on Earth really know the answer to the question, right? But it is a very good question. I know you or I would go to extreme lengths to help our brothers (or sisters).

Don Swanz
Don Swanz2 years ago


Nick A: When reaching to pet/rub a "fur butt", try reaching under the chin rather than over the head.
I think that you will find they are less likely to "shy away"; which is a reflex action to protect itself from predators; which usually come from above.

On BHO's brother: refusing to help does not make one a bad person. And just how do you know that he "could not bother to help with a few thousand in medical expenses"? The question you should be asking is: WHY did he not help? Don :-))

Nick Andrews
Nico Smart2 years ago

Walmart, now that is an example of a hell-hole company. The founder was a good guy and businessman, but his greedy kids are almost the opposite and why it is now such a dump and crappy place to work. I pay more to shop at Albertson's (another big chain) or when possible the local stores (what few remain).

Trucking is a hard job, hard to make money at as well. Feds always interfering, moron drivers in cars who don't understand physics of 80,000lbs or more versus their little Hyundai, etc. But as you know, there are thousands of incompetent truck drivers out there too who cause collisions and such. A good union would tend to weed those out in spite of losing the dues of paying members once they are kicked out. My uncle drove for the local big guy here for a while, until shortly after his trailer was surrounded at a truck stop in AZ somewhere by DEA, BP, etc. Trailer had a huge load of weed in it. And he said they had to keep dual log books, the real one and one for the feds, etc. Honest guys have a hard time of it, just like many other professions. But I cannot support unions giving money to political causes or forcing members to contribute to them. That is pretty much the same as a poll tax...

Nick Andrews
Nico Smart2 years ago

Hi Diane. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that BHO was born anywhere. I was simply talking about where he lived as a child. In fact, I think him living in different places is one of the few advantages he would have over someone born, raised and never left Kentucky or somewhere here. It should give some perspective. However, his upbringing left him with some very strange and unwarranted biases. Have you seen any of the interviews with his relatives? Like his brother, who the millionaire could not bother to help with a few thousand in medical expenses?

I have seen some dobies act mean, but it was all a show and like you said, protective of their property. You really would have to beat one to make it mean. We got one from the pound who was a great dog. She would come up to you and nudge her snout under your hand, but when you lifted it to pet her she would shy away like you were going to hit her. So sad. I think if I get another one as a puppy I will not have the ears cropped like most people do. Seems cruel just to make them look different. Full-eared dobies are just fine the way they were made.

Robby K.
Past Member 2 years ago

And I'm sure many experts were obama fans. But was he a foreign exchange student?