Jeb Bush in 2016? No thank you

I share Steve’s skepticism about the wisdom of nominating Jeb Bush for president, an idea being pushed by the “GOP elite” according to the Washington Post. Indeed, I think that nominating Bush would be bad idea.

I agree with Steve that Bush is an able leader. Indeed, Bush was held in sufficient regard by GOP leaders that if he had won his race for Florida governor in 1994, instead of losing out narrowly to Walkin’ Lawton Chiles and then winning in 1998, he might well have been the Republican presidential nominee instead of his older brother. In that event, he probably would have been elected without any dispute about the outcome in Florida.

Personally, though, I’m glad the steelier of the two brothers was president after 9/11.

That was then. What about now?

Now, it seems to me, no brother of George Bush stands much of a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton or even a less formidable Democrat. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, almost half of the respondents said they definitely would not vote for Jeb Bush. And, his relationship with Bush 43 aside, I think the Republicans would be better off countering Clinton (or Joe Biden, if it comes to that) with a younger, fresher nominee.

There are also legitimate doubts about how solid a conservative Jeb Bush is. The Post reports that GOP insiders have rallied to Bush because they question Chris Christie’s viability. That should tell us something. So should the fact that when Steve heard him speak last year, Bush sounded like Jon Huntsman.

For me, Bush’s position on immigration, or at least some incarnations of it, is a deal breaker. If the Republican message in 2016 is going to be pro-illegal immigrant, maybe the attractive young Rubio should be the messenger.

I hope the Republicans find a better standard bearer than both.

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