By Angela Kaye Mason, Contributor
It isn’t often that we hear a politician admit that they may not be a good candidate. Surprisingly, that is exactly what Jeb Bush said at a CEO council meeting for The Wall Street Journal. “I don’t know if I’d make a good candidate or a bad one,” he shared in early December, “I kinda know how a Republican can win, whether it’s me or somebody else – and it has to be much more uplifting, much more positive, much more willing to be… ‘lose the primary to win the general’ without violating your principles. It’s not an easy task, to be honest with you.” Jeb believes that the candidate who is wiling to lose the primary in order to win the general election would be the best chance at getting into the White House…but is not sure whether or not he is a good candidate. Well, let’s take a look. What are the pros and cons of a Jeb Bush run for presidency?
Pros & Cons– Immigration Reform
One of the biggest pros for the Republicans having Jeb Bush run as their candidate is the issue of immigration reform. Since President Obama signed the latest executive order on immigration reform, the issue has been dominating the media. People from both sides have been looking for a viable solution to the current status of immigration, and not many feel that the Obama administration’s antics are the answer.
In walks Jeb Bush. He married a Mexican woman who went on to have three children with him. Jeb speaks Spanish fluently, and could literally bring in millions of votes that would not come to the Republican Party any other way. This fact alone could make Jeb Bush favorable as a republican candidate. Some may feel that if elected, Jeb’s understanding of the Latino community and his sincere eagerness to find answers that are satisfactory for both parties could bring about a Presidential Administration which is willing to compromise in order to bring about the best changes for everyone. At least on this one issue. Jeb Bush has already stated, however, that Obama’s executive amnesty should not be defunded.
While his stance may bring in Latino voters, Bush is not willing to stand with his own Party on this issue which could be a problem for him. As far as being a voice for the Latino community, there are two other possible candidates for presidency which could gain some of the Latino vote. Although both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz carry some clout among Latinos, they are not viewed as favorably as Bush. They are both of Cuban decent, and Cuba already has uniquely favorable immigration status. Rubio and Cruz both stand firmly against the reform that Bush would likely push…even if it doesn’t necessarily jive with Republicans. Some may see this as a con after he is in the White House.
“He has said that he will risk losing some primaries in order to competitive for the general election, but I think he underestimates the zeal of the party’s right wing,” Ross Baker said. “How he manages to finesse the statement that illegal immigration is ‘an act of love’ will be interesting to watch.”
Pros & Cons – What’s in a Name?
Of course, any mention of Jeb Bush running for President would have to include the fact that he is, after all, a Bush. While many candidates may have to spend millions of dollars simply introducing themselves to American voters, Jeb Bush is already known to most. His name alone will likely bring in tons of donations from those who supported his father and brother. He also spent 8 years as the governor of Florida, which just happens to be the most populated swing state. Jeb’s father, George H.W. Bush is the only loser which has been voted for in Florida since 1960. Florida is often a bellwether.
Unfortunately, the Bush name could also be considered a con, since he is from such a recognizable family. Jokes are already being made which imply that America is becoming more like England, complete with a “Royal Family,” if another Bush is elected. The Bush name sat in the White House for several terms, and could be there for 2 more if Jeb wins. According to Ross Baker, political science professor for Rutgers, “If, perhaps, the Bush family were as distinguished as the Adams family of the 19th century there might be a compelling reason for electing three of them to the White House. This objection might be softened somewhat if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.” Imagine that…the one fact that could make a Hillary Clinton run favorable to Republicans.
Tony Fratto, who is a Republican strategist who worked with the George W. Bush campaign and administration says he will back Jeb if he runs. “I think there has been a pretty good reassessment about what went well and what didn’t in each of the two previous Bush administrations. I think obviously, President Bush 43 is more popular today than at the last days of his term. What’s most important is Jeb Bush is his own person and has his own record and his own voice and he has been pretty clear in how he addresses issues, his credibility and authenticity talking about issues over time,” he explained.
Pros & Cons – Common Core
According to Time Magazine, “Jeb Bush loves Common Core. The Republican base hates it.” Let’s face it..for Republicans, there are no pros on this issue. Time explains it like this, “Common Core is a set of academic standards put together by a bipartisan group of governors and promoted by the Obama administration. While both Republicans and Democrats first embraced the standards back in 2010 and 2011, they have fallen out of favor in the last few years. Grassroots conservatives and Republican office-holders now regularly condemn it as “federal overreach” and parents have protested changes in how subjects like math are taught under states’ new Common Core-aligned curricula.”
To Republicans, Jeb’s support of common core, and his absolute refusal to compromise with his own party make him very unlikable. Like immigration reform, seeing Jeb in the White House will mean no difference in the current stance in this issue. For many Republicans, this upcoming election is a chance to finally remove some of the horrors that the Obama administration has brought to the table. A Republican presidency could bring fresh answers for many issues, but not if that Republican has the same answers as Obama has had for 8 years. Jeb’s only hope may be to compromise with both parties on such issues, which he has already announced a refusal to do. In short…although there are pros to having Jeb Bush as a candidate…a Jeb Bush presidency might not look much different than an Obama one…unless Jeb changes his mind on several issues very quickly.
Shark Tank – http://shark-tank.com/2014/10/03/jeb-bush-running-president-pros-cons/
IB Times – http://www.ibtimes.com/can-jeb-bush-win-2016-presidential-contest-1760246
Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/jeb-bushs-pros-and-cons_b_6330710.html
Tea Party – http://www.teaparty.org/jeb-bush-republicans-dont-need-conservatives-win-white-house-defund-exec-amnesty-70515/
Time Magazine – http://time.com/3635791/common-core-jeb-bush-campaign/