What if Bush 43 pulled a John Quincy and ran for a Congressional Seat or maybe even a Senate Seat in 2014. What would his chances of winning be? Would his name recognition and street cred as a former pres alone push him over, or would he face a major uphill climb?
I wonder if say he ran for an open seat in a GOP district whether he could push past anyone in the primary and then sail through the general?
Honestly, I think he could barring a Tea-drinking primary challenger.
I wouldn’t even think the Democrats would be particularly interested in making it national–of the foibles Bush committed, most of them were things peculiar to being in the executive and the ones that were left wouldn’t really stand out in a Congresscritter.
Yeah, I’d call a Tea Party challenge inevitable, especially given the rhetoric one used to hear about how they were REALLY reacting to all politicians like Bush too, it TOTALLY wasn’t because of anyone’s race.
Bush Jr, in the final analysis, was a relatively moderate conservative except in the realms of executive power. That makes him unacceptable in today’s Republican primary environment.
Regardless of what you think of their motives, I think we can trust they really don’t approve of TARP or the debt Bush ran up or his adventurism overseas. For that matter I don’t think they were at all satisfied with him on social issues (no anti-gay marriage amendment to the Constitution). They reject the whole compassionate conservative idea and they prefer to push conservative issues through budget-slashing instead of spending.
Bush could definitely win a House seat, though it would have to be from a limited number of districts. He’s actually still quite popular among enough Republicans that he could win a district that was a strong majority Republican.
The other thing is, he’s got some of the same historical benefit that Reagan has, though not to the same degree. By that, I mean how Reagan is often held up as the great paragon of conservativism, but he’d be way too moderate for a lot of Republicans today. Yes, the Republican party has moved considerably to the Right in the last 5 years, but they remember him in from a relative perspective.
There’s also a certain level of historical revisionism at work. Yes, Iraq was a disaster for most of his presidency, but it’s not really talked about so much now, and though he didn’t have anything with the ending, he’ll get credit from those who aren’t willing to give it to Obama and the congress at the time. Ditto for the economic situation.
So, I definitely think he could win a congressional seat. Sure, the Tea Party might try to beat him, but I couldn’t see anyone other than a more established Tea Party challenger having much of a chance, and then they’d turn around and vote for him over a Democrat anyway.
As for a Senate seat, I think that’s quite a stretch. He might have a shot in a few states, but he’d have to do a lot more work.
Why would anyone give Obama credit for Iraq? The surge was already widely considered successful at that time. About the only thing that’s materially different between what Bush ultimately planned for Iraq and what Obama did, is Bush planned a very minor long term military presence while Obama ultimately planned none. (Although he hemmed and hawed on that a bit with his initial plans for a super-Embassy with basically a brigade strength military presence.)