I remember back in November of 2013, just after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had won re-election, how he was the toast of the town. Polls showed him as the clear front-runner for the 2016 presidential ticket and even some had him ahead of Democratic heavyweight Hillary Clinton.
At that moment, it was almost a sure bet that Christie was going to be the GOP darling of 2016.
Then the bridge scandal hit and that pretty much put an end to all of that nonsense. But since that time, Republicans have desperately been looking for anyone to “take that lead” as someone they can get behind for a probable 2016 presidential bid.
Granted, there’s been the usual suspects like Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, but none of those clowns really stands a chance. Paul has more appeal than Cruz or Huckabee, but being “better than Cruz or Huckabee” doesn’t really say a whole lot. Then you have the other probable candidates that really stand no chance, like Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker or Fox News contributor Ben Carson. I like to refer to those types as comedic fodder once the GOP presidential debates get going.
And until recently Mitt Romney has been “leading” many polls. Yes, the same Mitt Romney from 2012 who ran one of the most embarrassing campaigns in modern political history. You know Republicans are desperate when Mitt Romney is leading a list of potential presidential candidates for 2016.
But now Jeb Bush has sprung onto the scene and seems all but certain to be ready to throw his proverbial hat into the 2016 presidential ring. It makes sense; he was governor of Florida so they think he can carry a key swing state, he’s married to a Hispanic so they think he can lure in some of the Latino vote, and he has name recognition which is huge in politics.
Though there’s just one key element Republicans seem to be missing: The American people have had enough of the Bush family.
Let’s think about this realistically for a moment. His father George H. Bush failed to get re-elected and his brother George W. Bush only won the popular vote in one of his elections and left office with one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in U.S. history.
So it’s not as if the American people are in love with the Bush family. Besides, his own mother essentially said she doesn’t think he should become president.
And do Republicans really think that on the ballot box if the two last names they have to choose from are Clinton and Bush, that they’re going to choose Bush?
Then there’s the most recent poll Gallup did on Jeb Bush last summer showing the former Florida governor with a favorability rating of 31 percent.
Though I’m sure that number has inched up some with the popular press he’s been getting from many within the conservative media. But still, a favorability rating of 31 percent is pretty bad for someone who’s not currently even in office.
And maybe I’m way off on this, but I just can’t see the American people electing another Bush whose only political experience is being governor of a state and son to George H. Bush. Because last time we did that, it didn’t work out so well for us.
Then it’s not as if the GOP really wants him to run, they’re just desperate. They’re almost certain Hillary is going to announce her candidacy sometime this year, and they’re looking for anyone to put up a respectable fight against her because almost none of the candidates they have “on deck” stand a snowball’s chance in hell at even coming close.
But when it’s all said and done, he doesn’t stand a chance. George W. Bush’s tainted legacy is still lingering in this country, and has almost all but ruined the family name in the immediate future. Two more years isn’t going to wash that away. In fact, his candidacy will only bring it back to the surface.
There’s a reason why almost no current Republicans have been eager to embrace anything they did during the Bush administration or hoist the former president up alongside them on the campaign trail.
And while almost all other Republicans can avoid George W. Bush’s legacy like the plague if they want to, his brother Jeb won’t have that luxury. The stench of his brother’s failure, and all of the horrible things that happened during those eight years, will haunt Jeb throughout his entire campaign.
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