Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beating Bushes for a President

Even as GOP hopefuls make pilgrimages for a blessing by President 41, the sound of a distant groundswell can be heard for a possible Bush 45.

“His credentials,” says a throbbing pundit about the failure of Jeb Bush to step up, “are so good and his political abilities so acute compared to the others that his decision may well result in four more years of President Obama.”

Could eight disastrous years of Bush 43 disappear down the Memory Hole so quickly? Would Independents who deserted McCain in 2008 come back so quickly to a dynasty whose legacy then was a pointless war in Iraq, a faltering economy and infringement of Americans’ traditional rights to privacy?

In this era of Anybody Can Run (pace Trump, Cain et al), 58-year-old John Ellis Bush would bring to the GOP race (1) 100% name recognition (2) two terms as a popular governor of Florida and (3) an opportunity to break the Democratic stranglehold on the national Latino vote as the Spanish-speaking, Catholic convert husband of an Hispanic American.

The conventional wisdom, supported by his own declarations, has been that Jeb Bush would wait out the nation’s Bush Fatigue until at least 2016 before running for anything. But the degradation of political dialogue may have changed the timetable, creating an urgency for him to step forward as the Republican Great White Hope next year.

Granted, a Bush candidacy would offer Barack Obama a chance to saddle Republicans with the past that led to the present chaos, but voters have short memories, as 2010 showed.

If Jeb Bush does run, the only consolation is that there won’t be any Dick Cheney with him. But then again, we could be faced with a Jeb Bush-Paul Ryan ticket, and if that isn’t Back to the Future, what would be?

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