Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made his presidential bid official Monday, and continued the buzz Tuesday by “slow-jamming” on Jimmy Fallon. Critics speak nothing but doomsday for this campaign, and argue that a third Bush White House in a quarter century is unachievable. I disagree.
Here are my six best reasons Jeb wins the nomination:
1. Jeb is the anti-Clinton.
With Hillary Clinton campaigning fiercely as the presumptive Democrat nominee, Republican voters will look for the best alternative. To this point, the Bush name could be a boost, not a hindrance. It’s the Bushes versus the Clintons, and that’s the Hatfield vs. McCoy rivalry too fun to pass up. The press wants it, and it’s the political dynasty matchup that makes for the juiciest prime time drama. They may not admit it, but these Fox News primary voters like drama.
2. Jeb has staying power in presidential politics.
Most agree that the vast fundraising and political network of the Bush family is the greatest asset Jeb has. With the ridiculous number of GOP candidates in the race, Republicans can expect a lengthy nomination process ahead. There’s something about 10,000 GRPs of advertising and super sophisticated Get Out the Vote methods that can help Jeb eek out victories along the way. It may only require 25 percent to win an early primary state and this is when Bush money can matter the most.
3. Jeb was a successful governor, and a conservative, too.
He has the credentials to match his pedigree. In addition to success as a businessman, Jeb’s policy achievements as Florida governor will appeal to traditional Republicans and conservatives, too. He cut taxes, scaled back the state employee ranks and took stands for the sanctity of life even when it was controversial to do so. He was CEO of one of the largest states in the nation.
4. Jeb has reportedly fixed and retooled the machine.
Jeb was smart to wait before announcing his candidacy. It allowed him to raise substantial sums of dollars, but to also fix and tweak his organization. The Washington Post (surprise, surprise) writes as if the early squabbles and fumbles have caused his campaign to die before it gets started. I take an opposing view. He’s one of the last to announce and may be the last to stumble, especially if he’s truly worked out the clinks and clanks in the campaign engine.
5. Jeb’s family looks like America, and it’s more than skin deep.
This Bush family looks different from the others. Columba, the first-lady-to-be, is a Mexican-American. Look to see her in every single photo op from now on. If she’s not available, there is always George P. Bush, the first-son-to-be, who happens to be more the color of his Mom than his Dad, and is a politician in his own right. After two Obama victories, and now with Democrats poised to nominate its first-ever woman, GOP voters hopefully get it.
America has color; the Republican Party does not.
Plus, the super establishment wealthy guy who marries outside his race and culture, well, it’s the best love story of the Bush dynasty and could make this Soap Opera a Nielsen ratings hit, though not nearly as scandalous as the Clinton’s.
6. Bush bravado will prove how wrong I was “once-upon-a-time”
This is my personal favorite. In my early 20s, George W. Bush stuck his finger toward my chest after I made the mistake of criticizing his father outside a Norman, Okla., event center. I informed W., then known only to be the problem child of the vice president, that his Dad just couldn’t win the White House. I was working as a very low-level staffer for former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, the man who never became president, and that was the company line. Since then, there have been two Bushes in the White House, including the problem child. So why not a third Bush? It sure beats the heck out of a second Clinton. Refer back to Reason #1.