Bush 3.0? Jeb hints at White House run

2014-04-10 11:26
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Last year family matriarch Barbara Bush proclaimed there have been "enough Bushes" in the White House, but recently son Jeb unambiguously revived prospects of extending the political dynasty.

In his most elaborate discussion yet on the matter of 2016, the popular two-term Republican governor of Florida sent a jolt through the political chattering class by promising he will decide by year's end whether he will run, and by laying out what a possible Jeb Bush candidacy might look like.

At an event marking the 25th anniversary of his father George Bush's presidency, the second son discussed his own prospective campaign - an "optimistic" challenge to today's rough-and-tumble politics that have marred recent Republican nominating contests.

Should he run, Bush said on Sunday at his father's presidential library, he would not get drawn "back into the vortex of the mud fight".

While core conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz, a putative 2016 rival, have argued that Republicans must nominate the most conservative electable candidate, Bush takes the middle road.

He encourages fiscal prudence while defying party orthodoxy on issues like immigration and supporting national educational standards panned by the right wing.

"Campaigns ought to be about listening and learning and getting better," he said. "I do think we've lost our way."

‘Very attractive candidate’

In short, he seeks a broader Republican vision "organised around winning the election, not making a point," he said, signalling he won't demand ideological purity that can rally the base but doom the party in national contests.

"Jeb Bush is suddenly becoming interesting," Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science at Iowa State University, told AFP.

He said Bush is showing political adeptness that some conservatives lack. And with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hamstrung by scandal, Bush is emerging as a leading Republican centrist.

In particular Bush called on Sunday for greater compassion for America's illegal immigrants, who he said enter the United States to "provide for their families".

"Yes, they broke the law. But it's not a felony, it's an act of love," Bush said.

The remark reverberated throughout Washington, where Jeb, aged 61, is being carefully watched - and perhaps courted. Lawmakers admire his extensive political network and recognise the potential of a Republican with the gravitas to become a beacon for conservatives, moderates and independents alike.

"He's a very attractive candidate," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said.

Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, said he appreciates that Jeb seeks an immigration policy overhaul, after brother George W Bush ran into headwinds with related reforms during his presidency.

Yet "it's too early, it's a crowded field, and I don't even know if he's running," McCain said. "But I've always respected him."

Saddled by his name?

Schmidt noted Bush would face conservatives like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who both ran in 2012 and drew many nominating races far to the right.

That forced Mitt Romney to embrace deeply conservative positions from which he struggled to recover after winning that year's Republican nomination, and he lost to incumbent Barack Obama.

Bush could face similar challenges in early 2016 primaries.

"You can be popular nationally and the mainstream media can love you, but if you can't win Republican primaries in Iowa... New Hampshire or South Carolina, you can't win the nomination," said Brown University associate professor Wendy Schiller.

Another hurdle: Tea Party groups that advocate slashing spending and Libertarians opposed to military adventurism might not separate Jeb from George.

"They weren't in love with George W Bush because of the debt and wars, and I don't see how Jeb Bush escapes that," Schiller said.

As the son and brother of presidents, Jeb Bush would be propelled and saddled by his famous name - although the same could be said in the case of Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and White House first lady who herself is the presumptive Democratic frontrunner for 2016.

The Bush name is a successful Republican brand for many. But critics argue it could be his Achilles heel, symbolizing neo-conservative war-mongering.

"Much of the country has Bush fatigue, and the idea of Bush 3.0 or another Bush-Clinton matchup would be a bit much," said Robert Watson, professor of American studies at Florida's Lynn University, which hosted an Obama-Romney debate in 2012.

"Yet he's a legitimate candidate. Folks down here are constantly talking about him."
Read more on:    george bush  |  ted cruz  |  hilary clinton  |  us
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.