August 13, 2022

Jeb’s Long Slide

Jeb 2016! With George W. Bush and Paul WolfowitzThe decision of Jeb Bush to enter the 2016 presidential campaign in June, 2015 was met with a polled Republican approval rating of almost 19% and he had acquired a war chest of super PAC funds approaching $100 million. Since his front runner status of last summer, Bush has suffered a long, slow decline culminating in a dismal 2.8% of the total votes in the Iowa caucus and a post caucus rally where, after his speech, he had to ask his audience to “please clap”. Bush’s decline in the polls was at first of his own doing, as initial supporters were turned off with his comments on illegal immigration, the Patriot Act, Iran and his use of Paul Wolfowitz and George W. Bush as foreign policy advisors. Bush stated that many people come to the U.S. as a result of an “act of love” for their families in order to provide for them, if there were no other means in their home country. This statement by Bush was panned by more conservative Republicans intent on implementing a policy of deporting any illegals presently in the country and preventing others from entering.
Bush’s policy of supporting the Patriot Act and the collection of metadata by the National Security Agency put him at odds with the general perception throughout much of the United States that both government policies curtailed individual rights protected under the Constitution. Bush also seemed oblivious to how the public would perceive his use of Paul Wolfowitz and George W. Bush as consultants. These two men were instrumental in implementing a policy that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the displacement of millions of others and the opening of a Pandora’s Box that spawned sectarian violence, torture, the rise of ISIS, the fragmentation of Iraq and a fundamental shift in Middle East regional politics that resulted in benefits for Iran and Russia. Bush’s use of his brother, George, and Paul Wolfowitz as consultants, showed a misunderstanding of public attitude on the subject. Bush’s indecisive answer to the question of if he would have, as president, ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, did not help his cause. He first stated that he would have ordered the invasion, as would have Hillary Clinton. Later, he flipflopped with “knowing what we know now” he would not have ordered the attack.
Bush’s campaign and that of the other candidates had the life sucked out of it by Donald Trump’s bellicose pompousness. They were not prepared for Trump’s no nonsense, confrontational style of campaigning. Political incorrectness was Trump’s passport to popularity and his ticket to being the Republican front runner all the way to the Iowa caucus. The 2016 Republican presidential candidates must all be wondering how their futures may have been changed if Trump had never announced his candidacy, but for the former front runner Bush, comparing himself to his father and brother, the “what if” pill must be a bitter one to swallow.

©HeckleMaster™Inc., February 7, 2016, All Rights Reserved


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