Marginal Footnotes


Vice President Jeb
June 26, 2006, 5:21 pm
Filed under: Elections, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

According to US News, several Friends of Jeb (FOJ) are 'pushing him as the perfect match for several Republicans already running for president, including Virginia Sen. George Allen, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani'. Two reasons citied: (1) popular in Florida; (2) smarter than his brother, the sitting president.

Two quick points. First, the latter qualification is setting the bar pretty low, it seems to me. Second, what potential republican presidential candidate in his right mind would want to be so closely affiliated with the name Bush and all that that entails at this stage in the game? Only George Allen could be so dumb as to think such a move would be savvy. Republican dissatisfaction with the president is fairly high, the legislative agenda is stalled on the Hill, and the war in Iraq (despite recent announcements about a troop drawdown, which reeks of electoral opportunism) continues to go south.

Elisabeth Bumiller ran a piece on a possible Jeb presidential run at some uncertain date in the future, and although the context here is different (vice president rather than president) the arguments she cited against a Jeb run still, it seems to me, apply:

'Republicans say that running on the heels of what has shaped up to be a dismal second term for his brother would be difficult, if not impossible. Even if the current President Bush's approval ratings were better, Republicans say that Jeb, for all his political popularity in Florida, would still have to define himself in the shadow of his brother's White House '.

Who in America wants more Bush? Don't answer that. In any event, Jeb has indicated that he does not want to run in 2008 because of the 'intense focus' it would bring to his family, members of which (including his wife and daughter) have run afoul of the law recently.  

Republicans would probably do better to pick someone slightly less tainted. And they probably will.

–mpd

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