In noting my Scott Walker article in which I advocate that Republicans nominate him here and now should he beat Mary Burke in eight days from now, Emily takes a decidedly pessimistic outlook on the prospect of Jeb Bush’s apparently imminent candidacy for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
Methinks that Emily and a lot of other conservatives are objecting to Bush’s last name and family’s legacy rather than anything he’s actually said or done (aside perhaps from his statement last April that illegal immigration is “an act of love”. The people who smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. certainly aren’t doing it for love). However, Bush certainly did a better job as Florida Governor than Rick Scott who will likely lose to former GOP Governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist next Tuesday.
In the Walker article, my main argument against the former Florida Governor isn’t his name or his family’s legacy, but rather his extended absence from the political scene. He last ran for electoral office in 2002. Walker, by contrast, could win three elections in four years. Bush hasn’t been in a fight in a long, long time and somehow I don’t think he’s prepared for one. Maybe against Republicans, but certainly not against Democrats.
Consider Newt Gingrich’s bid for the GOP nomination in 2012. Despite an absence of more than 13 years from elected office, Gingrich shot to the top of the polls after a series of impressive debate performances. But that would be shortlived after Super PACs linked to Mitt Romney got through with him. Gingrich was ineffective in fighting back and his candidacy fell back to earth and never recovered.
I grant that Bush has deeper pockets in Gingrich and in a better position to fight back, but I think the advantage has to go to a candidate who has been actively campaigning and is in peak fighting form and should he win again in eight days, Republicans must not dismiss Scott Walker.
So what about Bush’s fellow Floridian, Marco Rubio? As I argued in the article, I believe Bush’s candidacy would keep Rubio out. But it shouldn’t. I certainly can’t see Ted Cruz not running because Rick Perry gives it another go. While Bush shouldn’t be judged solely on his name neither is he entitled to the nomination because of it. Too many Republicans are suspectible to the “waiting their turn” mentality. But if they wait, before they know it, their time has already come and gone.
Say what you will about President Obama (and there is much to be said), but he never let the Clintons intimidate him. The country is a lot worse off for it, but power is what you make of it and Obama certainly did that. As such I don’t think Rubio nor any other Republican who wants to be President should be deterred from running just because Jeb Bush is planning to throw his hat in the ring.