WashPost Columnist: Jeb Bush Has Credible Path to Presidential Race

Image: WashPost Columnist: Jeb Bush Has Credible Path to Presidential Race (Andy Jacobsohn/Stringer/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 12:13 PM

By Andrea Billups

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How could former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush make a credible run as the next GOP nominee for president?

By setting himself apart as anti-Washington — capital of "blowhards and haven for incompetents" — slamming both Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul as "anti-Israel," and "anti-defense," and showcasing his maturity and experience with a proven track record, The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin asserts.

Rubin charted Bush's path to the White House in a blog post that looks at ways he might move past his challenges if indeed he does step up for the 2016 race — even as his detractors argue that two Bushes in the White House was enough. He has said publicly he is weighing his decision carefully, NBC News noted.

Rubin believes Bush is on track if indeed his answer is yes.

"If Washington is the capital of dysfunction, he can pose as a successful governor from a swing state, a model for governance," Rubin notes of strategy. Bush can also get ahead by stressing "that the three freshman senators most likely to run for president lack sufficient executive experience — just like the junior senator from Illinois did in 2008."

Bush, 61, who successfully led the Sunshine State from 1999 to 2007, has a formidable track record on key domestic issues, including education, as well as appealing to a much-coveted voter demographic, Hispanics, as he speaks Spanish and has been invested in that community throughout his political life.

"On immigration, he has advocated legalization-only and tough border security measures, but he will need to convince conservatives he will back a border-security-first approach," Rubin offered of a hot-button measure sure to continue to drive political debate.

Bush also could make in-roads as a statesman by bridging the Republican Party divide, pulling "the entire GOP together while Republican Sen. Ted Cruz fuels the tea party vs. the establishment fight," Rubin wrote in her Right Turn column.

Bush has recently been a good party soldier, campaigning for Florida's current governor, Rick Scott, who is locked in a tight race against former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Associated Press reported. He has been forceful in his criticism, arguing that Crist is more focused on his own political ambitions.

Bush could score points in a national election with some good old-fashioned propriety in discourse, Rubin noted, exuding a "happy warrior persona" after years of congressional infighting that has led public re-election sentiment to dip to historic lows. "He has said he wants a joyous campaign and that might be a breath of fresh air and nice contrast to the yellers in his party who seem perpetually mad and hysterical about the country’s demise," Rubin added.

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