Jeb Bush, a son of an American political dynasty, has seen his prospects for President quickly rise in the early days after his announcement, to now, where we see his hopes for the nomination most likely over. What has been the cause of the plummeting of his candidacy and his fall from political grace?
John Ellis (Jeb) Bush was Governor of a major swing state, Florida. His campaign quickly raised a lot of money from the same donor list that his brother George Bush successfully raised money from when he ran for President. Normally, in politics, the person who can raise the most money is a hard person to beat, but these are different times.
Jeb was the initial favorite to win the nomination for the Republican Party. If there is such a thing as an establishment candidate, Jeb Bush’s candidacy, would define what those words really mean. Was his candidacy doomed from the start? Some would say that there have been one too many Bushes in the White House.
Mr. Bush’s campaign proposals sound and read like traditional Republican standards. The old saws of a balanced budget amendment, a line item veto and lower taxes are back. Instead of the Compassionate Conservative theme his brother had when he ran for President, Jeb is the Conservative Reformer.
His economic plan reads like the trickle down failed economic policies of Ronald Reagan. In fact he states on his website that he intends to return to a three tiered tax rate system of 28%, 25% and a new twist a 10% tax rate for the lower income earners. He wants to keep the charitable deduction and just cap the current tax dodges that are built into the system.
For today’s hard core, disgruntled conservatives there is nothing exciting that he is offering. His plans might seem well reasoned but the voter who is frustrated and angry, Bush’s campaign proposals sound tired and uninspiring.
His energy on the campaign trail makes you wonder how excited he is about his own campaign. In a way it seems like his efforts are a halfhearted try and that he just might want to be somewhere other than on the campaign trail.
Let’s face it, though, his real problem is that he is the brother of a recent President who was not very popular. There has not been enough time for the voters to have forgotten what President George Bush’s administration brought us. His campaign is haunted by the specter and ghosts of the past. In defending his brother, Jeb, makes an occasional defensive statement that is just not true, such as that his brother made America safe. No matter what he says, his comments are falling on deaf ears. His current poll numbers are a reflection of the sad state of affairs that his campaign has become. He is no longer the betting favorite to be the nominee. This is not the year for conventional wisdom, so far there is nothing conventional about this campaign season.
His only hope for success is at the forthcoming Republican Convention where a deadlocked Convention could turn to a Bush one more time. A more likely scene would be if there is a deadlock that the delegates would turn to a new face, not an old and tired campaigner whose joy does not seem to come from being part of the fray. His very real problem is the reality that there have been one too many Bushes in the White House.