Former President George W. Bush was in Chicago yesterday, giving a paid speech and reflecting briefly on the 2016 presidential race.
Jeb Bush’s candidacy has a problem, says brother George. “Me.”“It’s an easy line to say, ‘Haven’t we had enough Bushes?’ After all, even my mother said, ‘Yes,’” the former president told an audience of 7,000 health IT experts here on Wednesday.
As the Politico report noted, the former president told the audience that voters won’t see him “out there” on the campaign trail in order to help put some distance between the two Bushes.
The former Florida governor, meanwhile, was in southern Ohio yesterday, stressing a similar point.
Republican White House prospect Jeb Bush kicked off a speech to business leaders on Tuesday with a series of personal recollections, saying he’s his “own person.” […]He told the crowd he’s blessed to be the son of one president and the brother of another but “I’m also my own person. I’ve lived my own life.”
There’s more than one reason this is such a tough sell.
As we discussed a few weeks ago, even as Jeb urges voters to see him as his “own person,” he’s also relying on his mother, father, brother, and son to raise big bucks for his super PAC.
At the same time, he’s surrounded himself with the Bush family team of foreign-policy advisers, and reportedly brought on his brother’s chief economist to help shape his 2016 economic agenda.
As for Jeb’s claim that he’s lived his “own life,” the New York Times reported last month that he spent much of his adult life taking advantage of his family connections to advance his interests. In Florida, people went out of their way to get close to Bush in the hopes that he’d relay messages and suggestions to his powerful relatives – which he routinely did.
This isn’t going away.