Jeb Bush has far more political savvy than his father or older brother. And telling the American people that he is ‘his own man,’ and will not be influenced by the past two Bush President’s, I believe him. Not being a member of the political disaster in Washington of the last 14 years may prove to be a good thing, and an advantage in the Republican primaries. He will also receive benefit from the misstatements of fellow contenders for the White House and other members of the GOP. He just received one gift from Rudy Giuliani. Although Scott Walker had the first opportunity to condemn the former New York Mayor, he refrained. Bush should, and will likely take the opportunity to separate himself from the extremist members of his party. Although he is insignificant within the GOP, Giuliani often acts like Donald Trump and makes a ridiculous statement enabling himself to be in the forefront of the news. His latest remark claimed that President Obama doesn’t love the United States of America.
If Bush chooses to denounce this undeserved statement, he will alienate the other GOP Party, the TEA Party. But that was already accomplished when he said that he was considering the possibility of seeking the Republican presidential nomination. He is more of a centrist, and makes decisions based on research, and what is simply the ‘right thing to do.’
Bush has opinions on the issues; he doesn’t make them up as he goes along. As a two-term Governor of Florida, he became a leader of the conservative cause. Those who call him too moderate today are the extremists who have broken our government. He is a realist who champions education and the path to legal residence for nearly 12 million illegal residents. He does not ignore the problems these issues will cause in the future, and he doesn’t criticize the President’s concerns without offering a solution. He may stand alone as the only true Republican making a bid for the White House.
Will his last name be a serious problem for Mr. Bush? Most likely not. His brother’s failure as our nation’s leader will not be an issue. Of course he will hear the late night talk show hosts renew jokes about “W,” but if he ignores most of them, and manages to avoid involvement in an unwinnable exchange, they will have no effect on his candidacy.
Jeb Bush was known in Florida as a ‘problem solver.’ When he faced obstacles in his efforts to accomplish his ideas for the state’s residents, he found another way.
In many ways I believe the TEA Party has as much fear of Jeb Bush as they do Hillary Clinton. Both have made past efforts to work with the opposite party and find ways to ‘get things done.’
By the time the primaries begin, Bush will likely have separated himself from other hopefuls. Unlike Romney in 2012, Bush has a great deal of public appeal. In addition, he is more likely to capture the Independent vote; and that voting block is likely to decide the outcome in 2016.
Commentary by James Turnage