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

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Is There a Push to Get Jeb Bush to Become a Late Entrant in the Presidential Race?

Bookmark and Share    As an underlying storyline runs about how Republicans are dissatisfied with their choice of presidential candidates, a new telephone poll seems to be trying to taking advantage of that dissatisfaction.

Numerous New Hampshire Republican activists have Facebooked and Tweeted news of a poll that someone commissioned in which one of the questions asked is about whether they would vote for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, or Jeb Bush in a three way matchup for the Republican presidential nomination.

No one has yet taken credit for commissioning this poll but The Daily Caller reports that a spokesperson for former two term Florida Governor Jeb Bush has denied that he is behind the poll and reiterated that Governor Bush’s will not be a candidate in 2012.

We can speculate about who and what is behind this poll, but the tradition of political mischief making, makes all attempted explanations for it just just that …speculation.

Democrats could be behind this poll for the purpose of trying to perpetuate the perception that even Republicans are dissatisfied with their choices.

It could be someone who is trying to demonstrate that Jeb has enough support to become a succesful late entrant in to the race.

Unfortunately, we may not know who and what is behind this poll until someone comes forward and takes credit for it, or until the results of the poll are released.  By election law, any polling data released to the public or referred to when addressing the public, must be released in full to the media.  What this means is, if we never hear about the results of this poll, someone could be using this data internally, possibly for the purpose of discreetly establishing whether Jeb Bush is someone that the Republican presidential nominee should tap as their running mate.   Coming out with a poll that specifically asks what people think about Jeb as a vice presidential candidate, would be too obvious.    But if a poll  finds that Jeb Bush outpolls, or comes close to either one of the two most likely nominees, than he is probably a good choice for being their running mate and the sponsors of the poll get to find that out without giving away their true intentions.

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Bush Endorses Mitch Daniels for President?

Bookmark and Share In Abel Harding’s Politijax colum for the Florida Time Union’s Jacksonville.com, Jeb Bush is quoted as being quite supportive of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels‘s possiblt run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Abel writes;

“Jeb Bush likes Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ 2012 presidential prospects. The former Florida governor told a private gathering of Jacksonville business leaders that Daniels is the only potential candidate he’s heard who demonstrates a willingess to face up to harsh realities.

“Mitch is the only one who sees the stark perils and will offer real detailed proposals,” he said, speaking at a reception held before he took the stage in front of a crowd of real estate professionals.

Bush acknowledged that Daniels is absent the smooth, television-friendly delivery present in other hopefuls, but said voters were looking for a direct approach.

“He would be the anti-Obama, at least socially,” Bush said. “He’s not good on a teleprompter, but if my theory is right that could work well for him.”

For my part, in the past I too have callled Mitch Daniels the “anti-Obama” but while I have admitted that he may lack the rock star-like persona that Barack Obama has been accused of having, I must say that I believe Mitch Daniels speeches have a homey, down to earth, heartland appeal that President Obama lacks. And if my theory is right that “will” work well for him.

But it is also worth noting that Jeb Bush is not the only possible or once popular presidential contenders to offering near endorsements of a Mitch Daniels presidency. Back in October of 2010 I blogged about the praise that was heaped on to him by possible opponents Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich apparently admires Daniels so much that he once publicly encouraged to run. And not long ago, so did Haley Babrour.

Of DanielsHuckabee said I tend to think governors make good presidents because theyve actually managed a microcosm of the federal government. He added Mitch Daniels has done, I think an exemplary job as a leader, manager and governor of the state,.

Right now there seems to be one thing that all the possible presidentia contenders agree and that is that Mitch Daniels is a good man for the job of President. Will they still agree if hebeats them in Iowa and New Hampshire?

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Despite Pleas for Him to Run, Jeb Bush Says the Door is Firmly Closed

Bookmark and Share Recently, conservatives looking for a hero have been pushing the name of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. From a Senator Jim DeMint to a column in National Review and Michael Reagan at a Reagan Day dinner covered here by White House 2012, many politicos understand that Jeb Bush offers a true conservative agenda and the ability to articulate it in a way that can have broad appeal, even among Hispanic and Latinos, groups which Jeb has been making inroads to as he acknowledges the importance of their vote.

Those conservatives who have actually looked to Jeb Bush in 2012, happen to be pretty open minded. They all realize the obvious problem with the family name connected to Jeb. They understand that the American electorate has become Bush weary. But they also understand that given the chance to address voters, Jeb would have the ability to overcome his family name. They also realize that Jeb is the most truly conservative member of the Bush family. He is an ideas man with a proven record in Florida.

Rich Lowry outlined 8 solid reasons in support of a Jeb Bush presidential candidacy. And it is my belief that Jeb Bush would be a solid candidate and amazing President. But today, after a rush of calls for him to enter the race, Jeb responded to an email sent to him by Politicos Jonathon Martin which asked if the door remained firmly shut on a White House campaign next year. To which Jeb wrote “Yes,”.

While many willprobablylike the fact that Jeb Bush wont run in 2012, the truth is that his failure to enter the race is our loss and the fact that his name makes many view him as damaged goods is a shame. While it is discomforting to create the impression that whenever the G.O.P. needs a leader they turn to a royal family-like member of the Bush clan, putting all the aesthetics aside and just looking at the issues, Jeb Bush is perfect for Republicans to tackle those issues with. But who knows? Jeb is easily able to be considered a frontrunner for the nomination in 2016 or even 2020, when the Bush name is less controversial.

Of course, I predict that if the next President is a Republican, Jeb Bush will be named Secretary of Education and while I would prefer that the department be eliminated, if it isnt, Jeb would be one of the best for that job. Education has been an issue he has worked hard on and continues to successfully reform for the better in the nation.

Meanwhile, with this latest confirmation of Jeb’s 2012 intenton, Whiet House 2012 will take him at his word. Sincehe has been a viablepossible constender to considerin this race, we will not remove him from the site, but we will take note of the fact that he is out of the running.

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If a Bush were to ever get back into politics…

On November 3rd, 2008 the idea of a Bush ever running for political office again seemed pretty silly. We had a bad taste in our mouth from George H.W. Bush promising not to raise taxes, and then raising them. We had an even worse taste in our mouth from George W. Bush with his wars and deficits in the couple hundred billions. The name had become synonymous with bad politics and even most Republicans knew that the words “Bush” and “good president” in the same sentence was political suicide.

With all that, very little attention was paid to the Bush in Florida who retired five years ago after reaching the state’s term limit on the governor’s office. Jeb Bush left Florida in a far better position than he found it and still enjoys incredible popularity today in the state.

Jeb Bush is still very popular in Florida

I remember going to a McCain rally in NE Florida during the 2008 campaign. When Jeb was announced to introduce John McCain, I wasn’t the only Floridian on my feet enthusiastically cheering. In fact, we cheered harder for our former governor than we did for McCain.

Jeb still maintains great popularity in the state. A few months ago, Public Policy Polling reported that Bush was the only Florida potential candidate who would defeat Bill Nelson for the Senate seat in 2012, if he ran. This was before Nelson walked away from his seat on the Armed Forces Committee which may seal his 2012 doom no matter who he runs against.

George Bush won Florida in 2000 and 2008. In both elections, those 27 electoral votes would have been the difference between a Gore or Kerry Presidency. In 2008, Obama won Florida, but he could have afforded to lose it. I have little doubt that Florida would go the Republican’s way in a Jeb Bush presidential run.

But what about the rest of the country? For the other 49 states, Jeb is not even on the radar and the name Bush still scares a lot of people. On the other hand, as we face a third year with deficits in excess of a trillion dollars and war under Barack Obama, the name Bush isn’t quite as scary as it used to be.

Bush is fluent in Spanish and has a very good relationship with the Hispanic community. He has been quick to advocate for them and to point out how Democrats use that issue as nothing more than a political advantage. He also has been able to maintain a reputation as a moderate and a conservative; a tricky balancing act that voters can easily see through if not done right.

Bush does have some strikes against him with far right conservatives. He opposed the Arizona immigration law and supports state bankruptcy. This puts him in company with others like Pawlenty and Gingrich, but would certainly raise eyebrows in a 2012 primary that is certain to still be riding the TEA party sentiments of 2010.

Bush has sofar elected to stay out of the 2012 race, but has hinted that he may seek the nomination in the future. Given the political landscape going into this race, this may be a wise decision. While Bush is a solid conservative choice and a proven leader, the current issues and divisions on the right do not favor him. So far he has also opted out of the 2012 Senate race. But if a Bush could ever go back to DC in our lifetimes, it would be Jeb.

Jeb Bush. Secretary of Education or President?

Bookmark and ShareOver time, probably both.

While a third Bush presidency is probably not in the cards for 2012, it is not entirely out of the question in the future.

Yet if the potential crowded pool of talented Republicans do not actually come to the surface and run for President, Jeb Bush could actually throw his hat in the ring in 2012 and believe it or not, be a very viable candidate…… over time.

Once the shock of his name wore off and after what he had to say finally sunk in, Jeb Bush would be able to challenge people like Palin, Pawlenty, Paul, Barbour, and Romney and give them a run for their money……… over time.

However; with the wealth of talent that will undoubtedly fill the Republican field of candidates, it will actually be difficult to convince people that we need another Bush, so soon after the last one. And Jeb is not actually making any attempts to indicate that he is interested in running for President in 2012.

Instead, Jeb has been crisscrossing the country and discussing education in America and how to improve it.

The issue is one which he is most passionate about. As governor of Florida, Bush instituted the nation’s first statewide school voucher system, mandated standardized tests in Florida’s public schools, eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public schools based on a statewide grading system.

Since leaving office as Governor of Florida, education has been the issue Jeb has dedicated his life to. He started out by creating an institute named the Foundation for Excellence in Education and since then, in addition to speaking out on the issue and organizing forums on it, Jeb has been touring the nation as he studies innovative programs, learns about the tools educators need to successfully teach students and develops new ways to deliver quality education to the nation’s students.

The latest stride Bush has taken in this area has been an effort that would bring about a more intricate integration of future technology innovations with current technology in public education. Called the Digital Learning Council, Bush and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise have joined forces to create a panel of education experts that will help move digital learning to the forefront of education and away from the niche role they believe digital learning plays today.

The 60-member council includes Shafeen Charania, director of education product group marketing for Microsoft; Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va.: John D. Couch, vice-president of education at Apple Inc.; and state officials and members of education think-tanks.

According to a news release from the new group, more than 2 million K-12 students take courses online, and 1.5 million home-education students take online courses, but that barely scratches the surface of what is possible through technology.

In an interview with Education Week, Former Governor Bush told Education Week magazine that digital technology’s disruptive nature for good has not been applied to our education system. If you look at how technology has improved our lives, it has only been an accessory in education. The blueprint created by the Digital Learning Council will move us towards a more customized learning environment where more students learn at their maximum pace.

This latest initiative to enhance education in America is just one of many Jeb has taken since he firstbecame Governor of Florida back in 1998. In total, his record on the issue is impeccable and to date, he has done more to improve education in America more than most people of the day. And interestingly enough aside from demonstrating a great government model for teaching and learning, much of Bush’s work has demonstrated how we can improve the quality of education through private sector initiatives, as much, if not more, than government initiated demands.

Jeb’s efforts in the area of education are truly keeping him busy. He has turned the cause into a fulltime job. But it is a job that can certainly set him on the path to other employment opportunities.

Being aBush brother, timing may not allow him to become President in 2012 and he knows it, but a smart man can take time and turn it from an enemy, into a friend. And that is what Jeb is doing to the time he has. Currently, time is on his side. And should the next President in 2012 be Republican other than him, expect Jeb to be a member of that person presidential cabinet.

If the next President does not do away with the Department of Education, expect them to tap Jeb Bush, education’s best friend, to become Secretary of Education and once the President who appoints him to that position is no longer in office, anticipate former Governor and Cabinet member Jeb Bush to become the President after them over time.

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