Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have our presidential contenders. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced he would (almost definitely) run for president via social media Tuesday morning. So now that the GOP has its tentative frontrunner, let's take a little look at the younger Bush and what this announcement means for the party.
Bush has been a likely candidate for the Republican nomination for a while, and the past few days we've seen him doing warm-up stretches. In a television interview Sunday, he announced that he will release 250,000 emails from his time as Florida governor and an e-book. He also made it clear that there was a firm "yes" or "no" on the horizon for his bid for president.
End of this year, early next year, I’ll make a decision to really pursue this or to stand down.
Days later, he gave us an answer.
So is Bush a big enough opponent to beat out Hillary Clinton? Well, the name recognition certainly helps, though it may be an awkward time to try and use that to his advantage. Big bro Bush's serene life of dog painting was interrupted when he reentered the news cycle after the Senate torture report. If Lil' Bush thought that would leave a bad taste in America's mouth, he hasn't shown it.
But really, any time to run on the Bush name wouldn't be ideal. George W. left office with piss-poor approval ratings, his divisive presidency perhaps turning many people away from the name in general. The same could be said for Clinton, but with a greater passing of time and an overall scope of the economic impacts of her husband's terms, the name could sound a little sweeter.
That being said, Bush is not his brother's keeper. He has often been painted as the opposite — albeit still Republican — version of GW. He is more of an introvert, more of an intellectual and, according to some fabled legend, less conservative. Even if his ideals aren't as strong as the rest of his family's, he noted back in 2012 at an annual education summit that he resented being called a "centrist."
Yeah, there is a center. We’re a part of it if you call it a center. I’m getting nervous to be called a centrist. Breaking out in a rash. I’ve been accused of that now three or four times today. I’m pretty damn conservative to be honest with you.
Well, that settles that, then! Did you have any hopes of diminishing partisanship? Yeah, me neither.
The important part is that now the Republican donor base has someone to rally around. Marco Rubio, another presidential hopeful, would likely not run with a sure yes from Bush, who is a mentor of sorts. Also, this essentially rules out any Romney hopes of a bid. If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch two political families in the ring.
Images: Getty Images