Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jeb Bush: "Holy Schnikes"

Yesterday afternoon I decided to watch Jeb Bush's speech on foreign policy. To say I was shocked might be an overstatement. But I was really surprised. That's because I also watched his speech on domestic issues in San Francisco a few weeks ago and came away impressed...assuming he was going to be the Republican candidate to beat. During that speech, Jeb was polished, articulate and self-confident. But as many people have pointed out, yesterday he was a mess.

I don't know what to make of Jeb's performance yesterday. It could be that he just had a bad day. But it reminded me of something Matt Yglesias wrote in reaction to Jeb's speech in Detroit: Jeb Bush sounds like he's running for Mayor of America.
Launching his not-quite-a-presidential-campaign in Detroit this week, Jeb Bush delivered what I think would be an incredible speech for a job that doesn't actually exist. Call it "Mayor of America."

What Jeb didn't do was offer a speech that suggests he'd be a good president, or is even aware of what the president's job is.
It could be that in his heart of hearts, Jeb is someone who gets into the policy wonkishness of local/state issues, but assumes his family legacy requires that he run for president (the problem with dynasties in a nutshell). That ambivalence was on display at the end of the question-and-answer session when the topic of rouge states acquiring nuclear weapons came up. Here's Jeb's response:
Look, this is a – the more I get into this stuff, there are some things you just go, you know, holy schnikes.
It's OK to be overwhelmed by difficult foreign policy issues. It's just not OK to run for president when you feel that way.


  1. The mere fact he does not suffer W's tendency toward Spoonerisms and nonsensical verbiage does not automatically mean he is more articulate or more knowledgeable. He's not remotely ready for prime time.

  2. he feels he's ENTITLED to be President. So, why do his actual POSITIONS matter?

  3. I'm actually finding it kind of reassuring that the Dems haven't jumped into the fray yet. They get to sit back and watch the opposition fumble around while our side builds up oppo files.


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