John Bolton

John Bolton

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jeb Bush Likens Obama to Immature Child. Suggests Obama is Obsessed with Criticism

Jeb Bush: “I mean, good God, man, read a book...Go watch ESPN!”

Doesn't Jeb realize that Obama spends half his time as President golfing, partying and playing basketball?

Interesting article in the NY Times profiling Jeb Bush and suggesting how he may be stepping forward to defend the Bush family name in light of Obama's continuing fingerpointing at his older brother who feels bound by the "ex President's code" and won't fire back.

It's also an article that subtly speculates on whether Jeb might emerge to run for President himself. Here's an excerpt:

For Jeb Bush, Life Defending the Family Name
New York Times
June 22, 2010

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells.

“It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don’t accept responsibility.”

In fact, instead of constantly bashing the 43rd president, Mr. Bush offered, perhaps Mr. Obama could learn something from him, especially when it comes to ignoring the Washington chatter. “This would break his heart, to get advice that applies some of the lessons of leadership my brother learned, because he apparently likes to act like he’s still campaigning, and he likes to blame George’s administration for everything,” Mr. Bush said, dangling a ketchup-soaked French fry. “But he really seems like he’s getting caught up in what people are writing about him.”

“I mean, good God, man, read a book!” Mr. Bush said with a laugh. “Go watch ESPN!”

At 57, Jeb Bush remains an intriguing figure inside his fractious party. At a moment when Republicans are groping for an agenda beyond opposition, Mr. Bush has long been considered one of the party’s true idea guys, someone a lot of party insiders think could still be a serious presidential contender.

But Mr. Bush, the son and brother of presidents, occupies just as intriguing a place within his own family. American presidents have traditionally felt themselves duty-bound not to criticize their successors (no matter what their successors may say about them), which means that Jeb is the only Bush in public life who can defend the family name.

“George isn’t going to break that,” Mr. Bush said, meaning the ex-presidents’ code, “and if he was asked to serve in some way, he would do it, in spite of all the ‘it’s Bush’s fault.’ That’s just the kind of guy he is.”

No matter what happens in November’s midterm elections, Republicans will have to make a difficult calibration as they head into the presidential season. The party needs a messenger who can keep its Tea Party-type activists energized behind an agenda and a nominee. But Republicans will also be looking for someone who can reposition the party nationally and make its more strident ideology palatable to the wider American electorate.

This explains why some influential Republicans persist in believing that Mr. Bush might still make a strong candidate in 2012. He is a favorite of the anti-establishment crowd (he is said to have mentored Marco Rubio, the Senate challenger in Florida who gave the Tea Partiers a national lift), but he is also a political celebrity with a pronounced independent streak. As governor, for instance, Mr. Bush strongly opposed drilling in the shallow waters off Florida, and he favors increasing legal immigration, rather than restricting it.

Mr. Bush says he has no interest in running, because he wants to make money for his family, but his political allies seem to read a “for now” into such statements. “Every presidential wanna-be and every member of the House and Senate I talk to, if you ask them who is a difference-maker in our party, they will tell you Jeb Bush,” said Al Cardenas, the former party chairman in Florida.
Jeb in 2012? Hmmm... I'm not so sure about that. With all the new faces and new ideas conservatives have to choose from we may be reluctant to go with yet another Bush. But I've been wrong before. At least once anyway!

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