The campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination has not yet begun to take form, but Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, tries to lure a familiar name and face into the race:
“In 2008,” Lowry writes, “Jeb’s association with his brother would have been an absolute killer. That’s not true anymore. The controversies that made the Bush years so venomous have faded, and — partly through the miracle of the accelerated news cycle — 2000–2008 already feels somewhat distant.”
Kathryn Jean Lopez, also writing at National Review, seconds that emotion, describing her post as “my pitch for a special on Fox News: ‘Jeb Bush, Governor of the Country,’ a model of conservative leadership in and out of office.”
Lopez’ implicit acceptance of Fox News as the generator of GOP leadership is noteworthy. It’s also worth mentioning that if elected, Bush would become the third consecutive GOP president from a single family, which perhaps says something about the taste for innovation in that party.
Personally, I think the Bush boomlet says as much about the current crop of GOP candidates as about Jeb himself. And after a couple of years of hearing from the right that “George W. Bush wasn’t a real conservative anyway,” it sure would be interesting to see whether the party could embrace George’s more moderate brother.
The truth is, Jeb Bush by any other name would probably be a major contender both for the nomination and the presidency. But unfortunately, for him and perhaps the country, fate cast him as Esau to his little brother’s Jacob.
– Jay Bookman