Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left, kisses his mother Barbara as his son George, right, watches as he takes the stage to formally join the race for president with a speech at Miami Dade College, June 15, 2015, in Miami. 
Photo by David Goldman/AP

Jeb Bush’s mother tries to lend a hand

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, the wife of one president and the mother of another, said a few years ago that she didn’t really want Jeb Bush to run in 2016. “There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes,” she told NBC.
 
Jeb, of course, decided to run anyway, reminding voters that despite his famous family, “I am my own man.” The argument started looking a little shaky once the former governor turned to his family members for fundraising, and turned to his family’s team advisers to help guide his campaign.
 
As the process intensifies, and his chances of success decline, Jeb no longer seems interested in distancing himself from his last name. Today, the Bush campaign unveiled this new ad featuring an endorsement from his mother. For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the script, with Barbara Bush’s pitch:
“Jeb has been a very good father. A wonderful son. A hard worker. His heart is big.
 
“When push comes to shove people are going to realize Jeb has real solutions, rather than talking about how popular they are, how great they are. He’s doing it because he sees a huge need and it’s not being filled by anybody.
 
“Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who could solve the problems. I think he’ll be a great president.”
The New Republic’s Jeet Heer said in response, “There have been many sad moments in Jeb Bush’s ill-fated campaign, but this is surely one of the most pathetic. Down on his luck, Bush is doing the equivalent of bringing his mother to a job interview to vouch for what a great guy he is.”
 
That sounds about right, though that’s not the part that jumped out at me. Rather, it was the pitch itself  that seemed problematic.
 
“Of all the people running,” Barbara Bush said, Jeb “seems to be the one who could solve the problems.” I guess my question is, what’s with all the qualifiers?
 
Jeb Bush is a fine candidate, out of “all the people running”? It’s the sort of thing someone says when they think there are superior candidates out there, but they’ve chosen not to compete.
 
Jeb Bush “seems to be the one” who’ll solve problems? Is Barbara Bush not altogether sure about that?
 
The GOP candidate told reporters yesterday, “It’s good to get an endorsement from your mother.” He made the comment before having seen the new commercial.
 
 

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush's mother tries to lend a hand