He said, and his people continue to say, he has no interest in running in 2012. So why would a pollster be asking New Hampshire voters about Jeb Bush? I really can’t believe the country would be willing to put another Bush in the WH this quickly.
The discontent with this field of candidates just won’t stop will it?
My understanding of the situation is dimmer than I might wish. But as it stands, my understanding is that it is very, very difficult for a new candidate to impose himself. The ship has more or less sailed, and cannot be called back.
As well, Jeb has baggage. He is not a fire-breather, but a more or less moderate and sane Republican, the sort of ruling class scion who oftimes felt a calling to public service. The oft repeated tale I’ve heard was that it was Jeb who was being groomed for higher office, not George and God knows, not Neal. In a lot of ways, he’s Romney all over again. He has the same electrifying charisma, he walks into the room and its like two people just left.
And he’d have to be on fire, hotter than napalm Tabasco, there would have to be an absolute stampede of blazing lemmings, a tidal wave of flaming goobers…and even then, it would be a long shot.
The question wasn’t directed at me, but I’m just passing through. It’s what I haven’t seen that makes me think otherwise. How often have you heard President George W. Bush’s name brought up in the Republican Debates? I don’t think I’ve heard it at all. Even this bunch doesn’t want to identify with him. They do talk about Reagan. Do you remember how low President Bush’s ratings were with the public by the time he left office?
They may talk about Reagan, but they’d never nominate anyone with his record. He (gasp) raised taxes! They may not talk about Bush, but they’d nominate his clone in a heartbeat. Warmonger? Check. Tax cuts for the rich? Check. Nominate radical right wingers to the Supreme Court? Check.
Not necessarily. I voted for Bush twice, but Obama last time and I’ll be voting for Obama again.
In 2000 GWB fooled me with his “compassionate conservatism” agenda. In '04 I still believed in WMDs in Iraq. You know what they say, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… … don’t get fooled again.”
Right. There are (at least) three groups of Bush voter:
Disaffected former Republicans. Voted for Bush at least once (and maybe twice) but his performance (and that of his colleagues in Congress) have put them off the GOP for at least awhile. Possibly even caused them to reconsider some of the underpinning ideology that informed their voting in the past (tax cuts leading to increased growth, for example, or free-market approaches to health care). I’m in this camp, FTR.
Disaffected “Bush” voters. These realized by the end that Bush had made a number of mistakes (largely this disaffection centers around Iraq), but they still agree with the majority of the GOP message (low taxes, less govt, anti-abortion, anti-SSM, etc). They will vote for a candidate with the exact same positions as GWB as long as he doesn’t have the name Bush. Some percentage of these have become foreign-policy realists or even isolationists and are now more likely to support Ron Paul.
Die-hards. This 20% or so would vote for GWB again if possible. These are they guys with the “Miss me yet?” bumper stickers.
Bush’s name is not brought up in the Republican debates, but the candidates are in ideological lockstep with Bush. (As Jas09 said, low taxes, less govt, anti-abortion, anti-SSM.) They never disagree with anything Bush did while in office. (They probably all want to repeal “Obamacare”, but how many have said they’d repeal the prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D) which passed on Bush’s watch and will cost hundreds of billions of dollars.)
Jas may be right, perhaps there are Bush voters who were so disaffected by him that they have reexamined their beliefs and policy goals, but I don’t see them having any impact on the nominating process so far.
Well, Ron Paul may win Iowa. That would certainly be an impact and, I think, a direct result of Bush’s policies. Without the failures in Iraq there is no way an isolationist like Paul would have this kind of traction in a GOP primary.
But other than that you’re right - they’re straight “Bush Doctrine” followers right down the line. If anything, they are to the right of Bush on a few issues (immigration being the most obvious).
Interestingly, immigration policy is potentially the area that dooms any Jeb Bush momentum, even beyond the last name. He is rather more immigrant-friendly than the current field.
I think a lot of names are being floated because they are candidates for the vice-presidential nomination. I wouldn’t object to Jeb Bush being the nominee. The trouble is that people that would make good presidents often are very boring candidates.