Sunday, June 07, 2015

Jebbie Bush Can't Escape His Family Baggage

What do you do when your brother was perhaps the worst - or at least close to the worst - president in American history and you have unrestrained ambition (and ego) to want to be president yourself?  If what is being heard from Jebbie Bush's still unofficial campaign are to be believed, you campaign without mentioning your last name.  Apparently Jebbie and his advisers think the American public is so stupid they'll forget about the disasters rained down on America by Jebbie's idiot brother.  While that view may hold with the insane GOP base, it surely will not fly with most of us who don't make a practice of worshiping ignorance.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at Jebbie's effort to scrub his last name from his campaign.  Here are highlights:
A banner in the town square says “Happy 90th Barbara Bush.” Postcards read “Kennebunkport: 2 presidents, 1 town.” A local gift shop is selling unofficial Jeb Bush 2016 magnets.  In this coastal hamlet made famous by George H.W. Bush and his cigarette boat, it is hard to escape the Bush family — but Jeb Bush is trying hard to do so.

The past month has brought into stark relief the fundamental dilemma posed by Bush’s lineage, even as his front-runner status fades. He repeatedly stumbled to answer questions about the now-unpopular Iraq war started by his brother and has been visibly conflicted about whether to embrace or play down the policies and reputations of his closest relatives.

He conceded last weekend to CBS that distancing himself from his brother George W. Bush “is not something I’m comfortable doing.”

[T]he party faithful are increasingly seeking younger, fresher candidates — they’re “Bushed out,” as Barbara Bush has told visitors here in recent years.

And so when Jeb Bush’s anticipated presidential bid begins June 15, he will seek to set himself apart from his brother and father — an effort that will form one of the abiding themes of the impending campaign, according to aides and close friends.

He will make his announcement at a Miami community college under the moniker of his nickname, leaving the surname behind. There probably won’t be “Bush” on the “Jeb 2016” campaign paraphernalia. On stage will be his Mexican-born wife, Columba, and their three grown children. Neither of Bush’s parents will attend the announcement, and aides won’t say whether any of his siblings will, either.

Al Cardenas, a longtime Bush friend, said that polls have tightened because media attention is too focused on Bush’s family history and not on his record as Florida governor. “It’s about Bush, not Jeb,” he said.

Bush has told voters repeatedly in recent months, “I have to show what’s in my heart” regarding his family. But he also said recently that a presidential run “can’t be about the past; it can’t be about my mom and dad, or my brother, who I love. It has to be about the ideas I believe in to move our country forward.”
The disconnect, of course, is that while Jebbie he says that wants to break with the family political past, he's surrounded himself mostly with the advisers of his idiot brother - advisers that took us to war in Iraq based on lies and who helped set the stage for the worse economic crash since the Great Depression.  Jebbie's actions do not fit with what he claims to be selling.  Oh, and let's not forget about Jebbie's role in the Terri Schiavo debacle while governor of Florida.

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