Read My Lips: The Bush Era is OverPosted: November 8, 2015
No matter how hard Jeb tries he cannot distance himself from the name and legacy.
Edward Luce writes: Jeb’ll fix it” is the latest mantra of Jeb Bush’s flailing campaign. Whatever problem America faces, Florida’s former governor has the nous to solve it. Alas, Jeb’s reinvention as a regular Joe with a toilet plunger is unlikely to fix his own campaign. Just one in 25 Republican votersnow support him. Big donors are looking elsewhere. At some point, there will be autopsies. Proximate causes will leap out (his awkwardness on the stump would rank highly). Yet it is increasingly clear that his campaign was doomed before it began. No matter how hard Jeb tries to distance himself from the Bush name, it cannot match how far he needs to go.
Jeb’s quandary has been brought into sharp relief by Jon Meacham’s biography of his father, George Herbert Walker Bush. Destiny and Power is a fitting title for a patrician who took America’s reins just as it was sealing its cold war victory. Ask almost any student of diplomacy — American or foreign — and they agree that Bush 41’s presidency is underrated. The Soviet collapse could have turned nasty. Bush senior guided a peaceful lifting of the Iron Curtain and spurned the unanimous advice of aides to appear on the Berlin Wall as it was collapsing. He did not want to dance on the grave of Russia’s empire. Nor did he wish to hijack Germany’s moment.
By today’s standards, Bush senior’s restraint would qualify as electoral malpractice. Yet it showed the quiet confidence of a superpower that knew history was on its side. Europeans remain grateful for Bush senior’s handling of the end of the cold war. Most Republicans, on the other hand, recall him with disdain….(read more)
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