Friday, July 3, 2015

Bush the Guy to Beat For GOP Nomination

 Says so himself he does!

‘‘I want to be the guy to beat’’ -- a confident Bush said while campaigning in Florida earlier this week.

I hate to say it, but they seldom win (although one can never discount a stolen election, something at which the Bushes are quite good)

"Bush joins unwieldy race as new phase of GOP campaign begins" by Steve Peoples Associated Press  June 05, 2015

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush stepped into the Republican race for president on Thursday, finally taking his place — after months of hints and relentless fund-raising — amid an unwieldy field of Republican candidates unlike any in recent memory.

The son of one president and brother of another, the former Florida governor has the rank of front-runner and the donors to match. He now has eight months before the first votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses to prove he is worthy of both.

That's a heavy burden, and if he fails.... 

‘‘It’s as wide-open a race as we’ve seen in a long time,’’ said Republican strategist Kevin Madden, who described Bush as the ‘‘technical front-runner’’ in a field that now includes 11 major declared candidates.

And now that it is a national primary....

The son of George H.W. Bush and younger brother of George W. Bush, he is a favorite of the Republican establishment, and well-connected party faithful have showered the 62-year-old with money, staffing talent, and encouragement.

The exact reason why he shouldn't get the nomination. The grass roots is me since I'm stupid enough to vote in that primary every four years. 

His decision ensures the possibility of a general election showdown between two political dynasties as Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks the Democratic nomination.

The worst of both worlds.


The GOP contest now features candidates of different generations, races, and genders, whose policy prescriptions are far from monolithic and whose personalities often clash.

I'm in the midst of a series of clean-up posts so I can get off the campaign trail for the summer.

There are more to come: four sitting governors — Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and New Jersey’s Chris Christie, among them — are likely to join the race before the Republican National Committee’s first presidential debate in August.

See: Christie Comes Out of the Closet

Walker Campaign Up and Running 

Move over, Jeb.

‘‘Everyone is bunched together in the polls, and no one candidate in particular has emerged as a clear leader in the early state contests,’’ Madden said.

Madden, who previously worked for Mitt Romney, predicted that Bush’s entry would prompt ‘‘more obvious head-to-head engagements among the candidates’’ as they jockey for position.

Eight current and former governors could ultimately be in the race, along with five current and former senators, a former neurosurgeon, and two business executives.

The only woman in the Republican field, Carly Fiorina, has never held elected office, yet the former technology executive appears to be gaining momentum as she campaigns across early voting states, including New Hampshire and South Carolina.

That's encouraging.

There are two Hispanic candidates — Cruz and Rubio — while Bush is married to a Mexican native and speaks fluent Spanish.

All Americans, right?

Perhaps more than any of his rivals, Bush has refused so far to bend to his party’s conservative base, sticking to unpopular positions on illegal immigration and education testing standards. And he regularly proclaims loyalty and love for his brother, George, whom he lists as a trusted adviser....

I wonder how many votes he just lost there.



"FP1 employs a number of operatives with ties to George W. Bush.... Jeb Bush shuffles his presidential campaign team"

Jeb Bush explains why he shuffled his team.... 

I think I know why!

He is expected to formally enter the race next week. “It’s June, for crying out loud,” he said during a news conference held outside his hotel here on the second and final day of meetings and speeches in the German capital. Pressed on polls that show he is lagging or not strongly leading in a few early states, especially Iowa, Bush all but dismissed the data."

His name may be Jeb, but it will be like the reign of George III.

"A shaky start compels Jeb Bush to refine his tone; Ex-Fla. governor faces challenge from the right" by Jonathan Martin and Patrick Healy New York Times   June 13, 2015

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush had a plan for the last six months he spent as an unannounced candidate for president. He would raise tens of millions of dollars, distinguish himself from his brother’s controversial presidency, start winning over conservatives, and establish himself as the Republican to beat for his party’s nomination.

He distinguishes himself by hiring all his former advisers.

Other than raising the money, little has gone as he had hoped. He has been torn between defending and distancing himself from George W. Bush, been unable to assuage party activists uneasy with his immigration and education views, and run into a wall of opposition on the right.

And now, as he prepares to make his candidacy official Monday, Bush finds himself in a position he could not have imagined: part of a pack of candidates, and the target of questions about his own competence and conservatism.

Frustrated, according to his associates, by elements of his political operation and performance so far, he appointed a new campaign manager last week who is preparing an aggressive approach to the race.

What underhanded, dirty tricks do they have in the bag?

Yet Bush still faces fundamental challenges in appealing to a Republican primary electorate that is much different from the one his father or even his brother faced — a party no longer willing to automatically anoint the pragmatic, well-financed, establishment-aligned candidate that the Bush name personifies.

“He just hasn’t met the expectation level of what we expected of a Bush,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who is supporting Senator Lindsey Graham’s candidacy but likes Bush. “And that’s been a hindrance to him.”

No surprise there.

While Bush knows he has to change course in some ways, he also does not want to overreact and risk losing the image of a calm, seasoned leader that he has sought to project, according to several advisers and associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe campaign discussions and strategy.

Imagery, illusion, sigh.

They say Bush, having watched negative stories pile up while he focused on fund-raising in recent months, wants to move quickly to campaign with voters — especially in New Hampshire, which he increasingly considers a must-win primary state.

He is also determined not to change his positions on immigration and education, which many Republicans loathe; his best alternative, he believes, is to use his record in Florida to appeal to a party that has become more conservative since his father and brother were president.

“There’s a bias against him — that he’s another Bush, that somehow he’s a moderate — that isn’t fair and that he has to work to overcome,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., a Bush family friend who was White House chief of staff for Bush’s brother George W. Bush and transportation secretary for their father. “The key thing is he will have the financial resources, and the political maturity, to take the time to try to win people over.”

For those of you who do not know, Card is the guy who whispered into W's ear while he was reading "My Pet Goat" to the kids on that terrible, tragic, late summer September morning.

Bush’s political instincts have also been a problem. Advisers say his self-certainty and nine years out of politics have caused him to act as his own best adviser. The consequences were evident in his refusal for days to give a straightforward answer about whether he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Only after advisers convinced Bush that he was damaging himself did he say he would not have gone into Iraq.

So Iraq, despite the dozen years of propaganda, is now acknowledged as a "mistake."

“There’s a little bit of rust on him,” said Bob Martinez, a former Florida governor who is now raising money for Bush. “He’s still finding his rhythms.”

The reshuffled campaign team is aiming to hone Bush’s abilities as a candidate while sharpening its tactics against Republican opponents. Bush’s new campaign manager, Danny Diaz, is widely known in Republican circles as a hard-edge operative who is driven by trying to dominate daily news coverage with his candidate’s message or his rivals’ weaknesses.

Diaz, who seared John Kerry in 2004 and Romney in 2007 with charges of flip-flopping on issues, and other Bush aides are determined to develop new lines of attack against Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the two Republicans who represent the greatest threats to Bush’s nomination, according to advisers and allies.

Print ended there, and those are the ones going to be left standing into Super Tuesday.

The Bush campaign sees Rubio as vulnerable on his Senate record, which is short on legislative success and includes shifts on immigration, and on his history of managing his finances. And they regard Walker, too, as susceptible to attack on issues on which he has changed his positions, according to the advisers.

While Bush plans to compete there, his posture has only heightened the importance of the New Hampshire primary, which illustrates the challenges posed by the growing field. Not only are several candidates seeking votes on Bush’s right, but he also could find competition from center-right Republicans and unaffiliated voters from the likes of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Governor John R. Kasich of Ohio, and Graham, each of whom eyes New Hampshire as a springboard. 

Related: Who Cares About Kasich?

“He had a chance to knock a lot of people out,” Graham said of Bush, “and he missed that chance.”

If Bush is facing conservative headwinds, he is still not ready to radically recalibrate his message. In his kickoff speech Monday at a Miami-area community college, Bush is set to extol an aspirational and inclusive brand of conservative politics, make the case for projecting US power abroad, criticize Clinton — who gave the kickoff speech of her presidential campaign Saturday — and recount his accomplishments as Florida governor to highlight the paucity of what he believes are needed improvements in Washington.

I don't need to read the tea leaves to know what that means

Strange how the racism of the campaign is dispatched down the memory hole.

Florida offers Bush the chance to go on the offensive against less-credentialed rivals and employ the conservative policies he enacted in state government as a defense against charges that he is insufficiently conservative. Florida is critical to Bush for another reason: He believes that whoever loses the shared home-state primary — he or Rubio — is not likely to recover

That's the last thing you want to see a Bush do is go on the offensive, and Rubio just lost out. Bushes stole Florida twice already.

But advisers and allies of Bush believe that the race has only just begun and that Bush will have the money and a set of strong performances in the televised debates (or so they hope) to help him in the long fight for the nomination.

The narrative will be, after a long, long campaign, that Bush accrued enough through competitive volume.


"Jeb Bush announces White House bid without claim of legacy" by Michael Barbaro and Jonathan Martin New York Times   June 16, 2015

MIAMI — Jeb Bush, the son of one president and brother of a second, offered himself up as the most accomplished leader in the 2016 field, declared war on Washington’s political culture, and insisted that his family name gave him no singular claim to the Oval Office as he formally entered the race for the White House on Monday. 

Last thing you want is a Bush declaring war. First terrorism, now this. His family helped mold it; is he declaring war on them?

As his mother, Barbara, the former first lady, looked on, Bush directly confronted the central doubt looming over his campaign: that he presents the latest incarnation of a tired dynasty and is entitled to the Republican nomination by virtue of his surname.

In declaring his presidential bid before a cheering crowd on the Kendall Campus at Miami Dade College, Bush promised to remove Washington as an obstacle to effective government and economic prosperity.

I wonder how much the campaign paid for the crowd.


Bush, whose two terms as governor of Florida were marked by the privatization of traditional state services, vowed to “take Washington — the static capital of this dynamic country — out of the business of causing problems.”

Why not hand everything over to corporations? Bush can finish what Obummer began.

Bush referred to his record of ambitious, conservative-minded change as Florida’s chief executive.

Coming from a Bush, ugh.

“I know we can fix this,” Bush said. “Because I’ve done it.”

John Ellis Bush, 62, declared his White House ambitions nearly 27 years after his father was elected president, molding a political dynasty that would propel one son into a governor’s office and another into the White House.

But Jeb Bush entered a presidential contest — unruly in size, unyielding in pace, and voracious in cost — that is unlike any faced by his father, George H.W. Bush, who won the office in 1988, or his brother, George W. Bush, who claimed it in 2000.

In his speech, Jeb Bush offered himself up as a counterpoint to a Republican Party that has struggled to connect with minority voters, costing it the last two presidential elections.

His staff full of racists according to earlier reports, but whatever. Only matters if it's a Paul, I guess.

He also vowed to remain true to his principles, an implicit attack on his Republican rivals who have changed their views to appeal to the party’s more conservative wing.

And as the third member of his family to seek the nation’s highest office, he brings to the race a last name that at once burnishes and tarnishes, evoking the nobility of public service and a deep distrust of political entitlement.

Also known as organized crime. Start with Iran-Contra and go from there.


His father and brother did not join him for the announcement.

Yeah, you better stay away, Georgie.

Bush’s advisers and allies once predicted that he would emerge as the dominant Republican in the 2016 campaign, fueled by his record of conservative accomplishment as governor, his popularity at the end of his time in office, and the fund-raising prowess of the Bush family network. Now they are resigned to a far longer and uglier slog for him in the Republican nominating contest.

“The operative word inside the campaign is patience,” said Al Cardenas, a former Florida Republican Party leader and longtime ally of Bush. “As people get to know him, things will get better.”

Bush made his formal announcement in the multicultural city that allowed him to escape from his family’s patrician roots in the ivy-covered walls of Connecticut and in the oil patches of Texas.

Does the imagery fool you?

It was Miami that eventually nurtured his political ambitions.

In his speech, he both embraced elements of his heritage and tried to transcend them, portraying himself as an entrepreneurial figure who, in the Bush family way, struck out on his own, built a real estate business, and became a governor who delivered on a promise of sweeping change.

Just don't hug a Confederate flag, and I've noticed how the private equity offshore fund he was involved with has been flushed down the memory hole.


The risk for Bush, a cerebral figure who seems more at ease debating the intricacies of education policy with business leaders than electrifying a crowd of voters, is that the charismatic talkers in his party may outshine him before ballots are cast.

He has yet to emerge as a front-runner in polls, lagging rivals in crucial states such as Iowa. Cardenas said Monday’s speech was only the beginning of a long sales pitch that Bush must make in states with early nominating contests....

I'm tired of being "sold" politicians.

Many Republican elected officials who admire Bush have nevertheless held back from endorsing him, saying he still needs to prove himself.

Jeb Bradley, majority leader in the New Hampshire Senate, said that Bush met his three criteria for an endorsement — leadership skills, appealing stances on most issues, and ability to win — but that he was still open to backing two other Republicans, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin....

Hedging his bets.

The announcement of Bush’s White House run ends an unusual, legally problematic, and occasionally comical phase in which Bush traveled, raised money, and campaigned as a candidate but insisted, despite all evidence to the contrary, that he was not officially exploring a presidential run.

Oh, look, he's lying before he even gets the nomination.

Friends and allies said Bush’s biggest asset was his unwillingness to transform himself into something he is not.

“I think he needs to put aside the last few months and continue to calmly show a grown-up attitude,” said Barry Wynn, a prominent South Carolina Republican and donor. “The two things that will distinguish him are his stature, that he is a grown-up ready for the presidency, and his consistency, that he’s not changing to make everyone happy.”

Be yourself?


Did you see the campaign logo!?

"Formally in race, Jeb Bush takes message to N.H." by Jim O’Sullivan and Matt Viser Globe Staff  June 17, 2015

DERRY, N.H. — On the second day of his campaign to become the third Bush president, former Florida Republican governor Jeb Bush, the twice-elected governor and scion of one of the nation’s most prominent political families, is already hoping for something of a campaign reboot.

No, not funny.

After making it clear last winter that he intended to enter the race as its prohibitive heavyweight, Bush finds himself clustered at the top with a handful of other hopefuls.

Many candidates stumble along the campaign trail, hoping for new trajectories after promising starts. But not all carry the historical baggage of a presidential father and brother, the latter associated with an unpopular war and a devastated economy.

Yeah, strange how those things sour voters.

That dynamic leaves Bush facing a singular challenge: reintroducing to voters a last name that has been a near-constant in national political life for more than 40 years.

That's a huge challenge because as soon as people hear the name a groan escapes.


“I was kind of concerned about the whole Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton/Bush thing. I kind of thought I wanted something new,” Loretta Braun, a nurse who with her husband owns a small telecommunications company, said Tuesday. “But after hearing him talk, he’s climbed up.”

Bush is encountering a new phase, having reaped the benefits of family fund-raising and networking connections that have been refreshed over the last six months. Now, he must make the case to the broader GOP electorate, which polls show is still leery about another Bush....

I'm not leery about it; I'm flat-out opposed.

Bush is trying to rejigger his campaign to stifle questions about why he hasn’t yet surged and to delineate himself from his brother and father....

Earlier this year, Bush started with a strategy that allies described as “shock and awe,” meant to intimidate other candidates with his fund-raising prowess and ability to snag top Republican talent.

All right, THAT DOES IT! We've already had him declare war and go on the offensive. The last thing you want to see a Bush do is deliver shock and awe!

His efforts contributed to Mitt Romney’s decision to not run again.

He was hoping to be drafted, and maybe still is, but I think his wife put her foot down.

Looking back, Mitt would have been the perfect president. The mask would have come off, and a corporate suit would have been the perfect president for a corporate government -- and it would have been fun watching the right tear him to pieces on immigration reform (he would have presented his own bill, you understand).

But the effects were otherwise limited, and the center-right turf that Bush occupies now holds other challengers among the field of nearly 20 GOP hopefuls.

The strength of the 2016 field and Bush’s missteps — including bungled answers as to whether the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the right decision — have drained the inevitability from his candidacy.

Rather than being the clear favorite, Bush sits in a front pack that includes Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, and US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

On Tuesday, Bush said he was preparing a “high-growth strategy” proposal that would focus on reforming the tax code by eliminating exemptions and lowering rates. Without offering specifics, he also called for reduced and prioritized spending and for entitlement program reforms.

Bush earned the crowd’s approval with his answer to a question about religious freedom, saying society was “moving at warp speed” away from that founding principle. Referring to “emerging societal norms,” Bush said, “I think that we’re a big enough country, a tolerant enough country, to allow for both to exist.”

But no stars and bars. 

Btw, you are only tolerant of things you dislike. Everyone tolerates what they like, hell, they support it. I dislike the propaganda pre$$, but I'm not calling for it to be removed, nor any other Zionist information outlet. Everything should be out there, no censorship, and the people that care will find the truth.

At one point, Bush walked into the audience to embrace a woman who said she has special needs, drawing one of several prolonged bursts of applause.

For Braun, Bush’s policy knowledge and comfortable style of interaction assuaged the misgivings about sustaining a political dynasty and elevated him in her own rankings.

How high?

“Probably top five now,” Braun said.



A more important ranking:

"Jeb Bush releases tax data on Web; Earned nearly $29 million since 2007" by Ronnie Greene and Steve Peoples Associated Press  July 01, 2015

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has earned nearly $29 million since leaving the Florida governor’s mansion and has paid an average federal income tax rate of 36 percent in the past three decades, according to tax returns released by his campaign on Tuesday.

In an effort designed to show a commitment to transparency, Bush posted the tax returns on a website that outlines his work history since 1981, including most of the time that has passed since the two-term Florida governor left office in 2007. In those recent years, Bush has served on numerous corporate boards and has seen his income rise sharply.

‘‘Today, I’m releasing 33 years of tax returns — more than any presidential candidate in history,’’ Bush wrote on the website.

From 2007 to 2013, Bush reported nearly $29 million in total income. His primary occupation during that time was as a consultant, although he also made nearly $10 million giving speeches from 2007 through the end of last year.

Bush earned nearly $7.4 million in total income in 2013, the year covered by the most recent tax return released. A year earlier, he reported just under $6 million in total income.

Bush’s average federal tax rate puts him in the top 1 percent of taxpayers, who paid an average of 30.2 percent between 1981 and 2011, according to figures from the Congressional Budget Office. The average for middle-income households in that time was 16.6 percent.

Bush’s disclosure sets him apart from other candidates, past and present, on multiple fronts.

No other candidate has released as many returns. The closest was Bob Dole, the 1996 Republican nominee, who released 29 years of his income tax returns.

Bush is also the first of the nearly two dozen major candidates for president in 2016 to release tax returns. But Ron Weiser, a former finance chairman at the Republican National Committee, said Bush’s actions are aimed not at his competition for the GOP nomination but at Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Clintons have had earnings exceeding $30 million combined in speaking fees and book royalties since January 2014, according to the personal financial disclosure Clinton filed in May.

Yet the disclosure that Bush made millions from giving speeches leaves him open to some of the same criticism that Republicans have heaped on Clinton for doing the same. Bush made $9,954,500 by delivering 276 speeches from 2007 to 2015.

Tuesday’s release did not include a personal financial disclosure form, which is required of all candidates within 30 days of announcing their candidacy. Bush has requested a 45-day extension to do so, said spokesman Kristy Campbell.

Tax returns are much more detailed than those forms, and it has become customary in the past several decades for presidential candidates to make them public.

‘‘At this point, it’s a political requirement, if not a legal one,’’ said Joseph Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project, a group that has collected tax forms for presidents and top presidential candidates since 1995.

Bush’s Republican rivals did not indicate when their tax returns might be made public. Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s team, for one, said his returns will come out — but declined to say when.

According to previously released financial disclosures, Bush left the Florida governor’s office less wealthy than when elected. The decline in his net worth, from $2 million in 1998 to less than $1.3 million in early 2007, came largely from a diminished investment portfolio.

Campaign spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said Bush’s decision to release the tax returns was ‘‘consistent with the high level of disclosure he has practiced during his life in public office.’’

In February, Bush released more than 275,000 emails that were sent to and from his private email account during his time as governor.

He didn't wipe any servers clean, did he?


Also seeWhen Bush went to war

When do they not?