BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith is up with a ballsy post likely not to go over well with readers in the Sunshine State. In a nutshell, he thinks Jeb is a terrible candidate.
“The notion that Jeb Bush is going to be the Republican presidential nominee is a fantasy nourished by the people who used to run the Republican Party.
Bush has been out of a game that changed radically during the 12 years(!) since he last ran for office. He missed the transformation of his brother from Republican savior to squish; the rise of the tea party; the molding of his peer Mitt Romney into a movement conservative; and the ascendancy of a new generation of politicians — Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, among them — who have been fully shaped by and trained in that new dynamic. Those men occasionally, carefully, respectfully break with the movement. Scorning today’s Republican Party is, by contrast, the core of Jeb’s political identity.”
It’s for these reasons that I believe Jeb, regardless of what kind of candidate he would be, would make an excellent president. He’s all engine and little transmission, as they say down at the local AutoZone.
Bush will probably receive more than a respectful hearing inside the GOP over the next two years, and much of it will be based on the faulty assumption that he can win in traditionally Democratic states. This wasn’t true of his brother, and it wasn’t true of McCain or Romney, and it almost certainly won’t be true of him. Jeb Bush represents exactly the kind of Republicanism that makes the GOP uncompetitive in all of the states across the Northeast and Midwest that they need to be able to carry in order to win presidential elections. He is pro-corporate, pro-immigration, and pro-war, and all of these are political losers. A Republican Party that thinks Jeb Bush is the answer to its electoral woes is a party that is sure to keep losing one presidential election after another.
Being pro-immigration is a political loser? Unfortunately, this is probably still the truth within a Republican primary, but that doesn’t have anything to do with Will’s original argument about Bush winning some of the blue states or states like Florida, which a Republican has to win in order to win the presidency.