Friday, November 23, 2012

2016 ... Jeb Bush?

As political pundits turn their attention to the 2016 presidential election, one name that has been bantered around for a while in Republican circles is former President George W. Bush's younger brother, Jeb.  Jeb, 59, was a popular governor of Florida and, for a variety of reasons, could help pull votes for a GOP some consider badly in need of expanding its base.

On Thursday The New York Times wrote:
... calls for Jeb Bush to enter the arena in a bigger way represent vindication of a sort. His family’s longstanding advocacy for a more broad-based and “compassionate” Republican Party was largely ignored and eventually repudiated by the populist, small-government conservatives who held sway over the party after Mr. Obama’s election.

George W. Bush’s break with the populist right began midway through his second term over his support for a pathway to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, which grass-roots activists labeled an amnesty plan. His push for immigration legislation failed.

This year, even before Election Day, Jeb Bush was warning of what he called his party’s “stupid” approach to illegal immigration. (Mr. Obama took 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to interviews with voters.)

“The day after the election, I started getting e-mails and texts from friends and others wanting Governor Bush to run and asking whether he would,” said Justin Sayfie, a Florida lobbyist who served as an adviser to Mr. Bush when he was governor.
As zealous, newly-involved voters shrink the GOP tent to become less inclusive of ideas outside their own, the gains of the Bush White House years have been lost.

A big part of the Hispanic vote was won during the W years but has been lost since then. Jeb, married to his wife, Columba, who was born in Mexico, "speaks Spanish and favors overhauling the immigration system in a way that would provide a route to citizenship for people already in the country illegally but otherwise law-abiding," as noted in The NY Times.

Jeb  in 2016? Stay tuned....

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