Jeb Bush and the ‘Full Ginsburg’

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The “Full Ginsburg” is a silly little phrase that refers to instances in which one person appears on all five of the major Sunday morning talk shows – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox – on the same day. As a rule, it’s reserved for those commenting on major news events (earthquake in Haiti, H1N1 outbreak, Benghazi attack) or those engaged in national political campaigns.

It was curious, then, to see former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) pull off the feat yesterday – he actually went further, also talking to Univision yesterday – for no particular reason. He didn’t have any new plans to announce, and he didn’t play a direct role in any major news event, but the Republican apparently felt like raising his national media profile, and the Sunday shows were happy to accommodate his wishes.

Of course, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out Bush’s motivations. The former governor struggled all week to explain his own position on immigration – ostensibly his signature issue, about which he recently published a book – and he likely reached out to the Sunday shows to do damage control. After looking rather foolish contradicting himself and flubbing basic policy details, Bush likely hoped to get back on track by blanketing the airwaves.

I’m not convinced it helped. Yesterday, for example, the Florida Republican took his fourth different position on comprehensive immigration reform over the last six days, and his sixth different position since December.

In politics, flip-flops can be problematic, but flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flops are considerably worse.

Indeed, I have to admit, at this point, I’m still not sure exactly what Jeb Bush’s position is on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States. I know the former governor published a book last week saying he’s against it, and I know he told interviewers yesterday he no longer supports his own position. But as Annie-Rose Strasser noted, on one of the shows, Bush endorsed both positions over the course of a few minutes.

We’ve all heard the expression about political figures who “aren’t ready for prime time,” but in Bush’s case, it seems he’s not quite ready for Sunday mornings, either.

On a less substantive note, the Floridian clearly seems to be positioning himself for a national campaign in the near future – if Bush weren’t thinking about a presidential race, he wouldn’t have appeared on six Sunday shows – and several hosts asked about Americans’ willingness to consider yet another Bush for national office.

The Republican seemed unconcerned, arguing, “I don’t think there’s any Bush baggage at all.” On another show he added, “I think history will be kind to George W. Bush.”

I’ll look forward to Jeb’s 2016 slogan: “Vote Bush Again: Third Time’s The Charm?”

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush and the 'Full Ginsburg'

Updated