President George W. Bush (L) smiles at his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush before making remarks at an event in Sun City Center, Fla., on March 8, 2006.
Photo by Chris Livingston/EPA

Jeb throws the ‘I am my own man’ pitch out the window

Updated
After Jeb Bush turned to his mother, father, and brother to help raise money for his super PAC, I joked last week that the Republican might have to turn to Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Jeb’s son, for the next fundraising appeal. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it’s tough to joke about these guys.
 
Rachel noted on the show last night that George P. Bush did, in fact, write the latest fundraising pitch for his father’s Right to Rise PAC.
 
The former Florida governor is, as he recently boasted, his “own man,” though as Rachel explained, “every member of his powerful political family would like to have a word with you about sending Jeb some money.”
 
Of course, it’s not just about cash. We recently learned that practically every member of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team worked for his father, brother, or both, and Reuters reported last night that he’s embracing his brother’s economic team, too.
Glenn Hubbard and Kevin Warsh, veteran Republican economic policymakers and critics of the Fed’s ultra-loose monetary policy, have emerged as top economic advisers to likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush, Republican sources said on Tuesday.
 
Hubbard, who served as the top White House economist for former President George W. Bush, was one of the architects of Bush’s tax cuts. Hubbard also advised Mitt Romney in his 2012 bid for the presidency.
After we learned that Condoleezza Rice has helped advise Jeb Bush, a source close to the campaign said there’s some “sensitivity” about signaling to the public that Bush “would be a carbon copy of his brother’s administration.”
 
We’re apparently well past that now.
 
But in the case of Glenn Hubbard, we’re not just talking about one of the architects of the Bush/Cheney economic agenda, we’re also talking about a unique political voice.
 
As long-time readers may recall, Hubbard, during his tenure as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, not only defended ridiculous policies that didn’t work, the Bush White House had him promote policies he’d argued against before joining the president’s team – the kind of move that undermines an economist’s credibility.
 
During the 2012 campaign, he wrote an anti-Obama op-ed based on claims that were “completely made up.” Then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Hubbard’s argument was a “remarkably hackish observation for an economist.” Austan Goolsbee, himself a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, added, “Glenn seems to have jumped the shark.”
 
In 2013, Hubbard co-authored a book championing the discredited Reinhart/Rogoff study, and then exaggerated its significance in ridiculous ways.
 
Paul Krugman, responding to the report this morning about Hubbard joining Jeb Bush’s team, asked, “Really?
Hubbard is a competent economist, when he wants to be. But some people may recall that he went around loudly proclaiming that the “Bush boom” proved the efficacy of tax cuts, while Obamacare was a huge drag on business. You might think that this would provoke some reconsideration:
 
That is, you might think that if you’ve been asleep for the past few decades.
 
Also, is someone who was a paid witness for Countrywide – years after the abuses of subprime lending had become common knowledge – really the best Bush can do?
Honestly, how many American voters look back at the Bush/Cheney era and think, “I’m looking for a candidate who’ll bring back the identical foreign policy and economic team that caused widespread ruin from 2001 to 2008”? Because that, in a nutshell, is what the former Florida governor intends to do.
 
Jeb is his “own man” if the phrase has the opposite of its normal meaning.
 

George W. Bush, Glenn Hubbard and Jeb Bush

Jeb throws the 'I am my own man' pitch out the window

Updated