The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessement of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush 

Born: February 11, 1953 (age 57), Midland, Texas

Spouse(s): Columba Bush

Children : George Prescott, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr

Residence : Coral Gables, Florida

Alma mater: University of Texas

Profession: Banker, Realtor

Religion: Roman Catholic

(Click here for Jeb’s White House 2012 page)

I know, I know, not another Bush.  But you know what?  Get over it.  Take a look at the record, not the name.  If we are so prejudiced that we can’t get over a name, then we have much bigger problems than we realize.  Besides, we elected a man whose middle name is Hussein, for Christ’s sake.  So you can live with the name Bush again.  And if you are capable of getting past the name, you will see that Jeb is probably the most truly conservative of all the Bushes to come before him and of all the politicians out there today who claim to be conservative.

Beyond having an exceptional record during his two terms as Governor Florida, Jeb is experienced, innovative, articulate, steady handed and politically savvy.  And he would be sure to deliver Florida to the Republican side of the electoral ledger.  That in and of itself is enough to get him a spot on someone’s ticket.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election.  The last time it did make a difference was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate.  That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led  attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won be stopped.  In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally.  But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P.  candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent.  Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why Jeb Bush must be considered as very real potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

If Marco Rubio, the perceived favorite of most Republicans, holds true to his word and refuses to accept any nomination for Vice President in 2012, Jeb Bush will be the only figure from Florida whose “favorite son” status is so powerful that he could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney.  Therefore, when it comes to Jeb being on the ticket, never say never.

That stated,  not only do I believe that Jeb has no deep desire to be Vice President or President, at least not in 2012, I also believe he is more likely to become the next Secretary of Education than he is to become the next Vice President.

Jeb’s work on behalf of education is unprecedented.  He has delivered innovation and exceptionalism to educating our children and the next generation of Americans to enter the American workforce.  And if the next President does not intend to abolish the Department of Education, Jeb Bush will do the job justice.   Jeb probably won’t run for President or accept the vice presidency until he has fulfilled his role as Educator-in-Chief.

Pros:

  • Bush can go a long way in helping to carry Florida, a major swing state that the G.O.P. can not afford to lose
  • Jeb Bush’s presence on the ticket would help energize a large segment of conservatives who are unenthusiastic with Romney
  • Bush has been vetted far more than most other candidates
  • Has executive political experience
  • Is articulate, passionate, and a seasoned campaigner and vote getter
  • Is a proven vote getter among Hispanics
  • Will be a prolific fund raiser for the presidential ticket
  • His record on economic issues as Governor of Florida will allow a Romney-Bush ticket to espouse the the type of masterful economic stewardship for the nation that Bush practiced in the Sunshine State.

Cons:

  • His last name

Overall Assessment:

Despite his last name, Jeb Bush is probably one of the finest choices there is but since politics is more perception than  reality, Jeb’s last name will probably preclude him from being selected even though his record and personal political history would make him the strongest choice that Romney could make for Vice President.  Unfortunately, the Bush name is something that Republicans are too afraid of having to contend with so Jeb is most likely not the one to expect to see running in November. However, in 2012, the selection of a Vice President and where that vice presidential choice comes from, could effect the election far more than it has in the past and if it is determined that winning Florida is the key to winning the election and that the only way to win it is by having a favorite son of the state on the ticket, then Jeb is a very real option.  Especially if Marco Rubio refuses to accept the nomination.

Ultimately I do not believe that any Republican is brave enough to pick Jeb Bush because of their fear that the Bush name will hurt them.  And that is shame.  But while I am pretty sure Jeb Bush won’t be on the Republican ticket in November, I am quite certain he will be in the cabinet of the next Administration.  Most likely as Secretary of Education.

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Jeb Bush on The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform  Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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