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Jeb Bush's Policy Campaign

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush -- shown here with President Bush in 2008 -- has emerged as a key player for Republicans in the politics of policy-making. (Allen Eyestone/AP)

Jeb Bush is the first to acknowledge he's no political animal.

"My interest isn't [in] the politics of politics but the policy-making [aspect] of politics," the former Florida governor said in a recent interview with the Fix.

The Rising

It's that disinterest in the rough-and-tumble, who's up-who's down, point-scoring part of the political game that likely led Bush to take a pass on a slam-dunk Senate candidacy to replace Mel Martinez (R) in 2010.

The seeming lack of ambition to return to state or national office, however, also recommends Bush as a major player in the issues debate going on within the Republican party. Unlike former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman or South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Bush isn't mentioned as a candidate for president in 2012, a status that, coupled with his former office and famous last name, gives him a bit of high ground from which to orchestrate the conversation.

Out of power at every level in Washington and thoroughly overshadowed by the bully pulpit afforded to President Obama, most Republicans believe their only path back to majority status is to rally around a handful of innovative ideas that demonstrate how conservative principles can be a better alternative for the large swath of independent voters considered crucial to electoral success.

Bush, Gingrich, Huntsman and Sanford are regarded within the party as the best equipped to build support for a set of policies that can be taken to the American public to combat the "party of no" moniker Democrats are currently pushing.

For his part, Bush divides the critical issues facing the country into five "food groups": energy/environment, budget/government reform, health care, education and the economy. (Notably absent from his framework is any mention of national security, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or combating terrorism.)

"We need to run a campaign on these five ideas," he argued. "Instead of having a candidate you are pushing an issue."

Bush added that he has had a "few" conversations with national leaders including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) about how such a campaign -- which, he emphasized would not be "Washington-centric" -- would be structured and mentioned Gingrich as well as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as potential drivers of the debate.

The former Florida governor is not unaware of the challenges inherent in this task, however, difficulties ranging from the task of capturing the American peoples' attention to the complexity of navigating the egos of the politicians involved in the effort. "It is going to require some patience and humility in terms of peoples' own personal ambitions."

Without such a national conversation, Bush believes that the Republican party is headed into the same ditch where it crashed in the 2006 and 2008 election -- votes that served as a referendum not on the conservative policies of the GOP but rather on the "'I'm the incumbent, vote for me'" attitude of many Republican incumbents.

"There's been a nostalgic look back by conservatives reminiscing about the good old days, which is nice but entirely irrelevant for the concerns of everyday Americans living in a 21st century that is radically different than life was even 20 years ago," said Bush.

What role then will Bush, who remains one of the most recognizable faces in the Republican party despite being out of office since 2006, play in all of this?

"I intend to play a role," he said, adding that he will be working with the Republican Governors Association to counsel candidates to run issue-driven campaigns around his five food groups in 2010.

Adopting such a campaign style is "the way back into positions of responsibility for Republicans," Bush argued.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 15, 2009; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  The Rising  
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Sorry Mark in Austin I am not a pizza man but a New Yorker who frequently visits Fla and wants to make note of the Cuban terrorists who inhabit Fla. and are supported by the likes of the Bushes as well as the Diaz Ballart's.

We all know if Orlando Bosch or his fellow terrorists name was Abdul or Ali and he blew up and plane and went on a bombing campaign he would be locked up for a long time.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | April 16, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Jeb. I don't think it will work. You can come up with some new ways to revitalize your party,but the basics are pretty bad to start with. Unless the GOP reinvents itself from the inside out, they will encounter resistance in 21st Century America.

The policies espoused by the GOP are worn out and old - many of the voters who believed in them are no longer around. Younger Americans are more savvy now - they believe in freedoms that your party can't abide; they believe in inclusiveness that your party shuns; they believe in being rational and smart, and the GOP has kept party members pretty dumb and clueless, embroiling them in family values at the expense of their economic well-being; and they believe in equality and the fact that government has a real role in our everyday lives.

So to keep up with the new America, some of these beliefs must be embraced, but I doubt the cast of leaders at your disposal are up to the task.You would have to seek out a new set of people who understands what leadership means, and who can leave their egos and self-serving ways aside. Not impossible, but not likely.

Posted by: jbleenyc | April 15, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Jeb could become president if he had plastic surgery and changed his name.
It would also help if everyone could be induced into an amnesic stupor in 2012
Rupert Murdoch or Rush Limbaugh know how to do that real well.
Brother George not only poisoned the well for Jeb, he went and ruined the whole damned
aquifer for everyone.

Still I would rather have him than Palin or Hitler.

Posted by: seemstome | April 15, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Jeb could become president if he had plastic surgery and changed his name.
It would also help if everyone could be induced into an amnesic stupor in 1212.
Rupert Murdock(h?) or Rush Limbaugh know how to do that real well.
Brother George not only poisoned the well for Jeb, he went and ruined the whole damned
aquifer for everyone.

Posted by: seemstome | April 15, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Mark_in_Austin, I do not find the three comments of mudbone illegal or violent. Who are you the thought militia or just another Bu$h Inc. Nazi?

Posted by: itisimari | April 15, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

With the folly of the Obama budget becoming more evident everyday, a true fiscal conservative will easily find a following. However, it is important for a canidate to distance themselves from religious zealots, especially the southern kind, and embrace more diversity. Also, forget Gov. Palin. That was an experiment that didn't work. Also, Rush Limbaugh is a radio show entertainer -Nothing more, nothing less. It is important for GOP leasers to establish that - loud and clear!

With that type of platform in mind, the 2010 mid-terms should be easy beans for focused GOP canidates. Mark Kirk should be a shoe-in vs. the embarrasing Burris in Illinois.

Posted by: tifoso1 | April 15, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"mudbone" posted at least three times
content that

"...contains or advocates illegal or violent acts"

MerrillFrank - are you the pizza franchisor in FL?

I may have asked you this before, and if I did, please forgive my aging memory.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jeb

Who was hiding in the Las Vegas hotel closet at the gay orgy when it was busted by the law?

Posted by: walker1 | April 15, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

As the favored son of George and Barbara, he has the responsibility to watch out for the fortunes of the Bush Crime Family. Always better to work behind the scenes than to go out in the open.

Power and Money without Morals. The Bush Family Creed. Loyalty to the Family. That's why baby-Bush will remain silent. If he does, the Family will take care of him. If he draws attention to the Family, he'll wind up clearing brush in Paraguay.

A despicable group.

Posted by: thebobbob | April 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Highwaybluesoccer, Yes Jeb should be held accountable for GWB due to his evil deeds our nation was stricken with Nazi spawn in the White House. Jeb was the worst Governor ever in Floriduh despised by Floridians. Hurricane disaster relief was an insult. You must have lived in Miami raking in the freebies like electronics, generators, clothing and furniture without any storm damage to buy votes for GWB. Shame on those who were not entitled to aid and took it from those with real damage. The real victims of the 2004 hurricanes are still struggling to recover. If I am successful I will have a reasonable estimate this week to have my roof replaced. Yes five years after the hurricane with my own funds not FEMA or insurance. In a few more years I may have earned enough after coming out of retirement to replace my furniture, drywall and carpeting. Highwaybluesoccer, do you know anyone who can get a loan to buy a home without a roof? They would only need new tarps every three months.

Posted by: itisimari | April 15, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

By 2012.. if Obama loses.. it won't be an opponent who beat him.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 15, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Being the brother of the most hated and unpopular world leader, Jef Bush should do a favour to the Republican party by keeping away from active politics. His brother's boyish, comical presidency has sent the Republicans into a political wilderness for at least the next hundred years. Shakespeare is right : 'The evil that men does, lives after them'. Like Republicans, Jef, too, have got to live under that dark shadow, cast by his brother's failed past presidency.

Posted by: ponnumon | April 15, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Please please no more BUSH.
G Hightax BUSH , G Worthless BUSH, whats next, JustEvil BUSH ?
Onemore Bush might be end of the US or may be the World

Posted by: mdchancer | April 15, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Bush to take a pass on a slam-dunk Senate candidacy to replace Mel Martinez (R) in 2010.

Slam-dunk Senate seat you have got to be kidding me I live in Florida and most of us are madder than you know what about the 2000 elections and what they led too. After 8 years of Bush and the mess we got I don't think it would be a slam-dunk. Even though I like Jeb I am too angry to vote for him if he waits till the swing voters gets appeased he might stand a chance until then it is a toss up not a slam-dunk.

Posted by: antonio3 | April 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Two words.

Bush. Why?

Take your time.

Posted by: pressF1 | April 15, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

With the likes of these 3 the DEMOCRATS will rule for the next 1000 years. Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: AKShrubhater | April 15, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

GOP policy for Jeb Bush will be easy. Just more of the same as under his idiot brother's administration...unending tax cuts for the wealthy and screwing the middle class and poor, perpetual war, tax breaks and loopholes for big oil, and establishing a theocracy to pander to the whacked out bible thumpers, theofascists and wing nuts.

Posted by: checkered1 | April 15, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush, will go down in history as the greatest U.S. President

Posted by: hclark1 | April 15, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard much from the Bush Clan lately and that has been great. May we not hear from them again. EVER!

Posted by: sfdpfc | April 15, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I think JEB has to change his name to JEA -- John (?) Ellis AnynamebutBush

Posted by: RealCalGal | April 15, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

AHHH YES, the new improved GOP


God help america.

Posted by: jfern03 | April 15, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Jebb should not be blamed for anything that GWB is responsible for, he was a great Govenor in Florida, I was born and raised there. He was well liked by the people, and his reactions to the hurricanes and his quick aide, made the distructions of the hurricanes, bearable. Nothing like Katrina. Jebb is a good man.

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | April 15, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

More evidence of Republican retrograde.
Can't they stop digging?

"...the way back into positions of responsibility for Republicans, Bush argued."

The Decider is surely on Jeb's mind.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 15, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse


History started with "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" and as of now it's got GITMO,,BLACKWATER,,and that nagging 2000 Florida "STOP THE VOTE COUNT,,PLEASE CLARENCE" working.

Bush ,,the "EVILDOWER" came to power by virtue of a "dumb&passive" electorate that assumed law would hold sway in a nation of laws.

Barack must bring Bush and Cheney before the people and let us pass judgement.
I say they are guilty of TREASON!!!

Posted by: mudbone | April 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If this picture were in a English phrase dictionary without a doubt it would go next to: "Dumb and dumber"

Posted by: maxonhudson | April 15, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

JEB GO AWAY, JUST GO AWAY. You sabotaged our nation with your manipulation of the 2000 Presidential election. Think where our nation would have been with Gore in the White House. There would never have been a war based on lies our Treasury would still be in a surplus. Jeb just shut up about education in Floriduh and everything else you claim was a success. Get real you are a failure just like your brother. You are all Nazi spawn,

Posted by: itisimari | April 15, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Make me gag Chris C. with this big ball of fluff on a spring day! Please keep pix of any Bush(es) OFF of my computer screen for the next five decades--please, I say! He's not political--no, he's just a failure! Maybe the "bugman" can exterminate them, he's pretty idle these days after getting out of jail! Gawd help Virginia, he has poxxed them with his unwelcome sleazy presence! Jeb hisself left a fine little mess here in Florida, which is, of course, what Bushes specialize in! And no, Jeb, you are no wise elder statesman or edjykashun expert, either! Just--go--AWAY!

Posted by: JanisL55 | April 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I suggest that you wipe your arse with the ECONOMIST,,or shove it up there till you mouth stops yapping.
No one cares if you have minimal reading and writing skills,,blow it out your rear tube PAL!!

Posted by: mudbone | April 15, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Critical issues are five food groups - Mrs. G. Bush, you have produced idiots. Sorry you had to deal with them all these years. Apparently, all of you are so Zar-like. Control, Control, Control - that is what the Republican party is about. It is not capitalism, it is Zarism. I'll take Socialism anyday, compared to Zarism.
To the Bush Society, it's high time to realize that you are not welcome in any country in this world, including this one.

Posted by: mzbond | April 15, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mudbone | April 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"It's that disinterest in the rough-and-tumble, who's up-who's down, point-scoring part of the political game that likely led Bush to take a pass on a slam-dunk Senate candidacy to replace Mel Martinez (R) in 2010."

OK, I get you're lazy, but this is ridiculous. Bush isn't running because his brother trashed the family brand. Bush is not a slam-dunk, anywhere.

TG I read The Economist, where they still have real reporters, not blogger recyclists.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse


When his brother's co-conspirators -- and maybe even W himself -- are brought before the bar of justice, whether it's in Spain or the Hague or here at home -- you will look back at this blog entry, scratch your head, and mutter, "What the heck was I thinking?"




Can't seem to access, or post to, certain web sites -- especially, political sites?

When you do post, are typos, spelling errors and other anomalies appearing in your comments -- even though you carefully proofread the submission?

You could be the unwitting victim of government "fusion centers" that apparently are using internet "filtering" technology to censor and maliciously tamper with the telecommunications of unjustly "targeted" persons.

Please see this running account of an apparently "targeted" journalist and his quest to exercise his First Amendment right of free speech, and his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of telecommunications.

Then demand that American Civil Liberties Union renew its fight against warrantless government spying by filing a class-action suit against unconstitutional interference with personal and business telecommunications.

Recently, while reading the ACLU blog, this reporter learned of the Bush-Cheney "doctrine" of "ideological exclusion" -- apparently used to bar political "activists" from abroad from visiting the United States.

Could authoritarian bureaucrats be using this doctrine as a justification to censor political speech in this country?

If you suspect the answer is "yes," please add your account to the free speech thread cited above!


Posted by: scrivener50 | April 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush, will go down in history as the greatest U.S. President.

Posted by: hclark1 | April 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

While there has been a tradition of younger siblings and relatives carrying the mantle for previous prominent Senators and Presidents (both the Kennedys and the Clintons are prime examples), I believe that the timing is a bit awkward for Jeb Bush -- even as a policy spokesperson. No matter how good his ideas are, for the next four years, he is going to be seen through the prism of his older brother's administration. My advice to Jeb would be the same advice I'd give many overexposed stars in the arena of politics, show business and entertainment: namely, be silent and keep a low profile for the next four years. If people miss you and come looking for you, you will have a more receptive audience. If they don't miss you, stay in the private sector because either it wasn't meant to be or the country simply isn't ready for you to take the stage again.

Posted by: Jay20 | April 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

May God have mercy,,may we have an end to the BUSH infestation! BURN THEM!!!

Posted by: mudbone | April 15, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It is sickening to see that these Bush maggots still feed upon the corpse they turned America into.

Posted by: lichtme | April 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of this nest of vipers!! Burn them out!!

Posted by: mudbone | April 15, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Roaches don't go away,,,they must be EXTERMINATED!

Posted by: mudbone | April 15, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Go away, Jeb, we don't need any more of the Bush family. They screwed this country up enough. Stay in Texas with the rest of your family. Please don't come here to Washington.

Posted by: Classic60 | April 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse



..."Apparently Bush's didn't get the MEMO/AMERICA, "THEY'RE/THREW....

..."Wow have they RUINED/YOU/America/FACT!

Posted by: ztcb41 | April 15, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

He's not political.
Not one bit.
That's why he was one of the signers of the Statement of Purpose of the PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY.
He never had a clue that he's a NEOCON WARMONGER.
But I remember.
I also remember it was just the other day he said: "WE NEED A SHADOW GOVERNMENT".
Maybe guys like this are why Obama is still tapping telephones.
Terrorists aren't ALWAYS foreigners, ARE THEY?

Posted by: TOMHERE | April 15, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh God, please, not another Bush. PLEASE....

Posted by: svenka | April 15, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

America has been Bushed already! We just can't take anymore! Jeb Go home!

Posted by: bjlopez1130 | April 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The Quisling Bushes, LOVE, and LIVE to ignore the FACT that they are in Cahoots with the Mexican Elite!

When will ANYONE in the RepubliCan't Party FINALLY come clean with us?

For the truly dense, allow me to once again spell out the OBVIOUS (to those of us in the trench!):

Health Care-Imagine our Medical Systems WITHOUT Millions of Foreign Nationals STEALING Services!
Schools-Imagine only English Schooling being required, and NO Children who's Parents do not have a legitimate RIGHT to be here, in our Schools! Think THAT might raise Standards, and Lower costs?
Welfare-Pass HR-1940: Birthright Citizenship Act-Make it Retro-Active to 2,000! Think THAT might take a VERY LARGE Burden off our Systems?!

They DO NOT deserve the Benefits they get, and they have DUAL Nationality as is!

Crime? Talk about a "No-Brainer"! They are CRIMINALS for just BEING HERE!

I can go on and on. Most every problem afflicting this once great Nation has one thing in common!

More that 1 out of 10 US Residents, is here ILLEGALLY!

We have more Illegal Immigrants than Legal ones! We allow more Legal Immigration than any other Country!

Now, all you La-Raza SCUM;


aside from pointing out Jeb, and his Family's ties with Mexican Elite-of which the Richest Mexican is not even of La-Raza!;

That I did not even mention Messico!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 15, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Jeb Bush was a lackluster governor who has nothing of any interest to add to the national debate. Maybe he didn't get the memo that this country doesn't want to hear anything ever again from the Bushes, period.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | April 15, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Jeb and the Bush families pal around with terrorists, far right Cuban terrorists that is. This piece from the UK Guardian sums it up well.,12271,851913,00.html

Namely Orlando Bosch, who was involved in the 1976 mid-air bombing of a Cubana Airlines flight that killed 73 people, including members of the Cuban national fencing team. He was pardoned in 1992 by the elder Bush.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | April 15, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Chris! Good luck in getting the greedy egomaniacs at the head of the Republican party to 'get the message', but Jeb Bush--whom I've never particularly liked--certainly has a marvellous concept. While 2010 (or 2012) is likely too soon for the memory of what his older brother did (and even worse, failed to do) to this country, here at last is a credible--well, let's forget Terry Schiavo--Republican who has some NEW ideas. And well done, Chris for drawing him out in your interview!

President Obama still has lots of 'mojo', but eventually, when the public has tired of him (as an aside, this American Idol approach to politicians and government is tiresome and short-sighted in itself), the stage MIGHT be set for a Republican comeback IF, and ONLY if, they get past their Reagan fixation and get some new, post-partisan ideas.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | April 15, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Jeb who?

Didn't we get rid of that unpatriotic whiny dynasty YET?

The only roll I want to see Jeb with is a dinner roll - and he better not take mine!

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 15, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"There's been a nostalgic look back by conservatives reminiscing about the good old days, which is nice but entirely irrelevant for the concerns of everyday Americans living in a 21st century that is radically different than life was even 20 years ago," said Bush.'

he said it all.

'Adopting such a campaign style is "the way back into positions of responsibility for Republicans," Bush argued."

and it ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: drindl | April 15, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

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