Another day, and we’re here to talk about another candidate for President of the United States, John Ellis Bush, aka Jeb. Jeb Bush is a former—and the only Republican, ever—two-term Governor of Florida. His father and older—smaller, but older—brother lived in the White House, collectively, for 12 years. His wife Columba was born and raised in Mexico. And that’s what makes him qualified to be POTUS, in the eyes of many members of the Republican Party
Jeb Bush carries the “smarter brother” appellation in the Bush family. Why? Who knows. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas, so he’s clearly got “book” smarts, but his less than stellar candidacy, so far, leaves plenty of room for doubt about brainpower.
The latest and best controversy started a few days ago, when journalist Megyn Kelly asked Governor Bush this question about Iraq: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” His answer:
I would have and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would have just about everybody that was confronted with the intelligence that they got.
The he added this bit of information: “Yeah, I mean so, just newsflash for the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s space between me and my brother, this may not be one of those.”
Governor Bush claims, now, that he misheard the question. He says he thought Ms. Kelly was asking him what he would have done in 2002, facing the same information his brother and the Vice President claim they had then. That explanation makes some sense, in light of his answer. However, the question is clear, and “knowing what we know now” is the far more likely question than the one he claims he heard and answered. (In Wow, Jeb Bush is Awful, much funnier than me Gail Collins—for the New York Times on May 14—takes the man apart. And for a more complete takedown of the ways in which Jeb can’t escape his brother, read Joe Conason’s piece, The Smart Brother? Why Jeb Bush Can’t Escape Dubya’s Dubious Legacy, written for The National Memo on February 20, 2105.)
Governor Bush has emphasized that he’s his own man. So, it seems fair to wonder, on whom will Governor Bush rely for advice? Steve Benen, for MSNBC.com, has the list in Jeb Bush steps on his ‘own man’ message, written on March 24: For non-clickers, here’s the takeaway paragraph:
The campaign released a list of advisers that included his father’s Secretary of State (James Baker), his brother’s Deputy Defense Secretary (Paul Wolfowitz), his brother’s National Security Adviser (Stephen Hadley), a variety of members from his brother’s cabinet (Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff). In fact, Philip Bump reported that of the 21 people reportedly advising Jeb Bush, 19 are veterans of the first Bush administration, the second Bush administration, or in a few cases, both.
His “own man” case falters, for sure!
Governor Bush held office from 1999 through 2007. Thus, he hasn’t run for office since 2002 and, surely, that facts explains some mistakes. And, mistakes are often overrated. Still, because he must find room within the needle hole for himself and his brother, Governor Bush will find dealing with his brother’s foreign policy decisions very, very difficult.
Governor Bush has a brewing scandal, too. EXCLUSIVE – Koch Brothers, Rick Scott and Jeb Bush Exposed in Florida Pipeline Scandal was posted by Leslie Salzillo at DailyKos.com back in February. According to the post, Georgia-Pacific, a Koch Enterprises company, has been dumping large quantities of toxic waste into the St. Johns River, Florida’s longest river. We’ll see where this one ends up, but it can’t help the former governor during the general election, if he’s the nominee.
Governor Jeb Bush has the polish and moderate bearing that provides comfort for many. Unfortunately, much of what we’ve seen far should signal “been there, done that” and: