It’s my belief that the 2016 GOP presidential nomination is going to come down to Jeb Bush or Scott Walker, though I still think when all is said and done that Bush will be the Republican candidate for president.
That being said, even if Bush isn’t the candidate, just him running for president might be one of the main reasons why his party loses in 2016. What Jeb has done is he’s brought along with him the stench of failure that was his brother’s presidency. Just by being George W. Bush’s brother, he’s going to be held accountable for some of what his older brother did while he was president. And as we’ve seen, he’s already having to answer questions concerning whether or not he would make many of the same mistakes – questions that he’s failed miserably at answering.
But the impact this is having is that now other GOP candidates who aren’t related to the Bush family are also having to answer for the failures of the Bush administration. Naturally, when Jeb is asked these questions the media is going to ask the other candidates similar questions as well to see where they might differentiate themselves, if at all.
We’ve already seen this happen. Just ask Marco Rubio, who completely embarrassed himself trying to answer a similar question about Iraq during a Sunday interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
This is a pattern that I think we’re going to continue to see happen over and over again – especially with the way Jeb seems to have unwavering loyalty to his brother. He’s practically refused to levy any criticisms against his brother’s administration, even if that might ultimately torpedo his campaign.
The fact that Jeb is surrounding himself with many of the same people who advised his older brother isn’t helping his cause, either. It’s really difficult to claim you won’t make the same mistakes as he did when you seem to be building the same exact support structure.
But perhaps the worst part of all of this (at least for Republicans) is that even if Jeb doesn’t win the nomination, just his presence for at least the next 12 to 15 months is going to be more than enough to have tied every single other potential Republican candidate to his brother’s presidency. Between now and then he’s going to be inundated with questions regarding his brother’s presidency that these other candidates are ultimately going to end up having to answer as well. Then when it’s all said and done, if someone like Walker is chosen, he will have had to have either agreed with many policies of the Bush administration, or basically admit that George W. Bush was one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.
Considering how G.W. Bush has somewhat grown in popularity these last few years with the “base” of the GOP, throwing him under the bus could possibly make or break a candidate’s campaign for the GOP nomination – and as a result make or break the Republican party’s chances at retaking the White House. Remember, the GOP base may have developed a soft-spot for G.W., but that doesn’t mean the nation as a whole has forgotten what a disaster his eight years really were for the entire world.
What this all ultimately boils down to is that George W. Bush was such a horrible president, that even in 2016 his failures might continue to help sink the Republican party. That really helps put into perspective how truly breathtaking Bush’s failures were as president.
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