Jeb Bush’s campaign announced today that he has been endorsed by former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole. Dole will serve as Bush’s National Veterans’ Chairman. I suppose the announcement was timed to coincide with Veterans’ Day.
I deeply admire Bob Dole, but I am afraid that the 92-year-old’s endorsement sums up much of what is wrong with Bush’s campaign. If there is anything Republican voters want this year, it is to move on from the past. Dole was Gerald Ford’s running mate in Ford’s unsuccessful 1976 campaign. He ran for the presidency in 1980 and lost out to Ronald Reagan. He was the Republican presidential nominee in 1996 and lost badly to Bill Clinton. The association of Dole with Bush serves to emphasize the fact that Jeb can’t escape, because of his last name: he is part of the past that GOP voters are trying to leave behind.