In a shocking-not-shocking development as the field of 2016 GOP presidential contenders begins to blossom, it turns out there will probably be a Bush among them.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Tuesday announced a more aggressive pursuit of the presidency, or more accurately, he has "decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."
He said he came to that decision over the Thanksgiving holiday during conversations with his wife and children between eating and watching football, which we all totally buy.
Bush said he will be forming a Leadership PAC in January "that will help (him) facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans."
Last week a Bloomberg report cast doubt on a possible run for him, given his direct involvement in venture capitalism. For one, being a gazillionaire might make him look like a Mini-Mitt; that is, too rich to relate to everyday Americans. Plus, one insider said, his investments were relatively new and such ventures tend to have a life span of a decade or so.
Plus, he's a Bush, and while he was a pretty popular governor known for his relatively moderate views (except on education, of course), the rest of the country may see him as the Second Coming of W., or the third coming of H.W. Or, going way back, the fourth coming of Prescott, Geronimo's Skull and all. (Just kidding. America loves anything that's familiar, even if it's backwash.)
What he didn't do was give a definitive timeframe in which he would decide, like, for realzies.
If he does run, notes the News Service of Florida, "Bush also would face fierce opposition from Democrats and likely from some Republicans who disagree with him on issues such as immigration reform and education policy. The Florida Democratic Party website Tuesday, for example, featured a prominent picture of Bush and touted what it said was his 'awful week' that included 'damning articles' in national media outlets."
And of course, not too long after Jeb's statement, Democratic and progressive groups came out in full force, issuing statements about his "announcement."
“Isn’t this what he’s been doing all along?" DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee said in a written statement. "I don’t know what the difference is between ‘thinking about’ running and ‘actively exploring’ running, but I suspect it has a lot to do with keeping his name in the news. However you see it, there’s no parsing this simple fact: Jeb Bush has fully embraced the failed economic agenda that benefits only a select few at the expense of the middle class. That’s not going to change no matter how many different ways he says he may run.”
Progress Florida was also quick to weigh in.
"Floridians got Jebbed! for eight years, so we know him better than anyone – and the last thing America needs is Jeb Bush in the oval office," wrote Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo. "Bush has led attacks on our public schools, opposed health care expansion for nearly one million working Floridians, and for years now, his Wall Street ties, along with his tangled web of shady business dealings have raised more questions than answers. The country can’t afford to get Jebbed! in 2016."
And thus the anti-Jeb effort in Florida has been branded.