Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Here Comes Bush v. Clinton 2.0


Earlier this year I wrote a piece titled "Forget Christie: Why Jeb Bush Will Win the 2016 GOP Nomination." Looks like he's made it semi-official with the announcement over the weekend that he will "actively explore" a presidential run, and will release approximately 250,000 emails early next year from his two terms as Florida governor from 1999-2006. As Yogi Berra famously said, It's deja vu all over again...

Despite the fact that he's not been to Iowa in two years, and that his political team consists of just four people, Bush has big Republican donors salivating on the sidelines. Folks who can't bear the thought of supporting bombastic New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose BridgeGate and Hurricane Sandy scandals, coupled with his anger management problem and obesity, vastly diminish his overall appeal outside the Garden State.

Bush is the anti-Christie.  He's got pedigree, class, is soft-spoken yet firm, smart, moderate (by today's wacko Tea Party standards) and married to a Mexican woman, making him quite an attractive candidate to many, as Hispanics are becoming a much bigger percentage of overall voters. And, mostly because of what he's not--a fringe loon like Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Rand Paul or Marco Rubio, or a 'loser' like Mitt Romney--big GOP donors and bundlers would euphorically hop aboard the BushTrain the nanosecond he declares.

But Bush also has serious liabilities that concern the party's ultra conservatives, such as his controversial positions on immigration, education and taxes, as well as his overseas investments. And then there's that pedigree thing. Though his mother Barbara has essentially flipped on her famous 2013 claim that "we've had enough Bushes," the million-dollar question remains, 'is the country ready for yet another Bush?'

In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this year, 69% of Americans agreed with Ms. Bush that it's time to move on. And with the news full of terrorist beheadings by ISIS; the turmoil in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East; new reports of CIA torture tactics; Dick Cheney reprising his Darth Vadar routine; and a still-struggling economy, will the ghost of big brother George haunt baby bro and present insurmountable challenges to an eventual campaign?

To be sure, Bush is no centrist, despite his lofty reputation. He's for tax cuts to the wealthy, is against abortion and gay marriage, is in bed with gun owners (we can partially thank him for Florida's Stand Your Ground law), and his views on faith have put him squarely in the middle of controversy. In 2003 he intervened on the side of the family of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman in a persistent vegetative state, whose feeding tube was removed and then ordered reinserted, against the wishes of her husband, her legal guardian.

All of which makes Hillary Clinton the most likely victor in this dynastic match-up. The country has matured and evolved, but the Republican Party hasn't. It is Clinton's views, not Bush's, that are shared by a majority of Americans. Voters want immigration reform; have overwhelmingly supported same-sex marriage; believe in a woman's right to choose; worry about climate change; want to close the income gap; seek government regulation of Wall Street and the banking industry; and support Obamacare and the need to insure all Americans.

Yes, America's next president will likely come from American political royalty, but she won't be a Bush.


Anonymous said...

Let's remember one thing about Hillary Clinton: she's in Wall Street's pocket.

What other Democrat ever had Rupert Murdoch host a fundraiser for the campaign? He clearly was hoping to be on her good side assuming she won. He did NOT do the same for Obama, did he?

So while Hillary is the lesser of the two-party evils, she's likely not the answer to the dilemmas facing this nation.

Anonymous said...

"Is Hillary Clinton about to repeat Barack Obama's biggest mistake?" Richard Eskow thinks so, and so do I.

Eskow says that Hillary is positioning herself to be a defender of Wall St, and I see no reason to disagree with that assessment of her. As such, she becomes someone who is part of the problem and not offering a solution. Obama followed this path, and the results will be controlling Congress in just a couple of weeks, completing the job of destroying the Middle Class and converting the US into a corporatist feudalism.

So if you are in favor of the further decline of the Middle Class, Hillary is your lass. "...a candidate who "supports Wall Street within reason" -- offering only unsupportable tactical promises while most Americans fret about the economy -- is a candidate in danger of losing, no matter what the polls may say today."

Anonymous said...

Just as a FYI. You are a Johnny-come-lately in this story. This was predicted over a year ago by Saeed Sabour and Ron Keller of America in Focus. They predicted that not only will this happen, but Ron Keller mentioned that Jeb Bush will beat out Hillary. Well that remains to be seen. However, all that does is add more evidence to the contention that these candidates are selected and manipulated, and not elected.

northierthanthou said...

I think they're both going to have to step up their games. So far so meh with each of them.