Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will launch his presidential campaign Monday in Miami. Much will happen to change the shape of the race between now and November 2016. But given what we know now, I predict that Bush will become the 45th president of the United States. Here are five reasons why:
1. Bush is seeking to grow the Republican Party.
Rather than trying to expand his support among conservative voters, Bush is trying to make inroads with moderate, swing voters. For example, when I’ve heard Bush talk about his education reforms in Florida, he doesn’t just give conservative talking points about expanding families’ freedom to choose the school that’s best for them. He explains how successful the reforms have been in making Florida’s Hispanic, black and low-income students outscore students in other states.
Bush is a true Big Tent Republican. He generally doesn’t attack other Republicans, and when he attacks Democrats, he generally avoids the outraged tone that other GOP candidates employ. This will be an attractive feature to the growing share of voters who are fed up with the politics of perpetual outrage. Conservative voters likely won’t like his moderate approach to immigration or his support for Common Core. But Bush isn’t flip-flopping on those issues; instead, he is working to convince conservatives of his positions while taking his message to moderate voters.
2. He’s already in the lead.
Bush leads the RealClearPolitics polling average (although Scott Walker and Marco Rubio are very close behind). His drive to attract moderate voters will expand his base of support. Few others are competing for the same voters, leaving Bush nowhere to go but up.
After a shake-up in the management of his campaign even before it launches, many have suggested that Bush’s campaign is faltering. I’m reminded of July 2007, when John McCain’s campaign manager and chief strategist left. The entire campaign was downsized. In the end, McCain’s shake-up was worse than Bush’s, and things turned out okay for McCain. Surely Bush can do the same, if not better.
3. Other Republicans are shifting to the right.
At one point in the last few months I thought Walker had the best chance of winning the nomination. Then he showed what kind of voters he was trying to attract by taking ultra-conservative positions on national policy issues. Very conservative voters were already impressed by Walker’s record of standing up to intense union opposition, and many would have supported him anyway. By shifting to the right on immigration, foreign policy and social issues, Walker has made himself look more conservative and less attractive to voters who weren’t already inclined to support him.
I think he’s the one republican contender for the GOP nomination who could actually beat Hillary Clinton. He’s an intelligent and personable guy, and will be viewed as a moderate republican alternative.
I think observation #3 is what will ultimately eliminate everyone but him from the running.
On a level playing field, anyone could beat Hillary. She has absolutely NOTHING going for her other than she is liberal… and liberals simply want liberals, incompetent, dishonest, corrupt or not. But, on a level playing field, we would not be saddled with Obama right now, either.
So, then as now, it will hinge on how successful the left wing media is in suppressing Hillary’s failures, gaffes and scandals while exaggerating and/or creating them for her opponent. The media may whine about how Hillary is shutting them out, but in the end, they want a liberal, too, so they will just shut up and accept it.
Unless another liberal comes along.
@Bill: Lame stream media this—lame stream media that—stop crying1 Fair and balanced Fox is hosting first Repub. debate.
“Unless another liberal comes along” you say—Is it possible to be more liberal than Senator Bernie Sanders?
Do you think Hillary will make a guest appearance there? Recall, if you will, when Romney had Obama on the ropes in the foreign policy debate (after mopping the floor with Obama in the first debate) how (too much) Candy Crowley had to come to Obama’s aid, interjecting her opinions and support into the actual debate!!! You may not like the accusation, but the sad fact IS that the media is in the tank for the liberal candidate. Naturally, I would not expect any of you to begin to get a sense of what she is afraid of from the media or even un-screened common folk; you just aren’t that attentive. It is, however, the obvious question.
Currently, Hillary is free to make all her accusations (voter suppression; what an absolute joke) and statements in a complete vacuum with no one to make her validate her points, even if they had such a desire. The media complains about how she has disrespected them, but still they tote that water
Sanders is a joke with a snowball’s chance in hell of ever smelling the nomination. Note all the coverage the media gives HIM.
Sanders is a sincere man who has strong convictions and an ability to state them clearly. He’s getting media attention because people are interested in what he has to say. He’s free to speak his mind completely because he doesn’t expect to be nominated. Other candidates can’t be so honest, for fear of losing votes or financial backers. They’re more interested in fine-tuning their campaign messages than in truly stating their principles and intentions.
@Greg: I will give Sanders credit for one thing; he is a full-blown socialist and he is open about it, as opposed to Hillary or Obama who bob and weave to center or right but are, in reality, leftists. I also credit Bernie with another accomplishment; fully exposing liberal hypocrisy about the “war on women”.
Excellent work, Bernie, but I despise socialism and socialists, so good luck with all that.
As a conservative I will not vote for Jeb Bush. The Washington Post nor anyone else could make a good enough argument to convince me to do so.. Jeb is nothing more than a slightly, and I mean very slightly, conservative version of Hillary Clinton.
What it tells me if Jeb Bush is the GOP nominee is that this nation hasn’t suffered enough under Obama and depending on my mood on election day I may go anywhere from not voting at all to casting a ballot for Hillary…
For me this bus either changes direction or we drop a match into the gas tank and see what happens…
Pardon me, but… REALLY?
I would agree that a more conservative candidate and President would be better, but it would appear that this will have to be done gradually. With the left wing media actively stumping for the left (and the farther left, the better), it will be difficult for a conservative to be able to run that gauntlet. As with the case of being sold on “the more liberal, the better”, the ignorant, ill-informed general public will have to SEE the difference, as they have seen how Obamacare, Obamanomics and Obamaforeignpolicy fails miserably, despite the lofty promises, they will have to see how a more robust economy an djobs market will benefit them more than their monthly hand-out from a Democrat-controlled government.
Of course, getting a Republican elected is only half the task (maybe even less); as we see with the Republican Congress, then they have to be forced to DO something positive and they won’t be unless their position is secure.
But, voting for Hillary or any other of the far-left imbeciles we see offered is NOT the solution.
Unfortunately Bill, I consider Jeb to be essentially the same kind of far-left imbecile. He is campaigning pretty much in support of Obama’s policiies. If Bush gets the nomination (which I seriously doubt, as the public is both Bush and Clinton weary even if the MSM wants to pretend otherwise,) I will have to consider who is running amongst the third parties. Screw the establishment RINOs.