The Palm Beach Post reports, "Jeb Bush is having his best legislative session ever." The St. Pete Times lead editorial: "Jeb Bush wields power without accountability." But, nothing, in the favored son's hometown newspaper, The Miami Herald.
Some mainstream newspapers are picking up the theme that has appeared regularly at Eyeonmiami: how the underlying tension of the Charlie Crist / Marco Rubio campaign to be the next US Senator is being played out through a plan for a resurgent, re-branded Bush in national GOP politics. It is transparent to any close political observer, but not reported at all in The Herald. (for more, see our archive under the tag, 'Jeb Bush')
The skirmishes over Florida GOP party leadership, the storm of criticism over party spending, over the embrace of the Obama fiscal stimulus, over acquisition of US Sugar lands planned by Crist and thwarted by Fanjuls, the effort to "sunset" the Florida Department of Community Affairs, and a controversial plan to tie teachers' compensation and performance to the Bush FCAT: these are all being set to a low boil for the Jeb Bush account.
Tim Nickens writes in the St. Pete Times, a newspaper often sharing stories with The Herald, "Less than two years ago, Bush declined Times' staff writer Sydney P. Freedberg's request for an interview by claiming he was "trying hard to stay out of the public eye to let my successor do his thing.'' Now he's more like Voldemort in the Harry Potter books. You can feel his presence in the room, his surrogates are doing the dirty work and he still finds ways to leave his own mark. And there's no Harry Potter around to match his intellect or political skills."
I'm not sure Nickens is right about Jeb's intellect. If Jeb was so right on education, for instance, why won't he take credit for Florida a state ranking "50th, as in last, in state spending on education, according to the latest study by the National Education Association. The state's production of bachelor's degrees ranks 30th, yet another year of funding cuts to education is emerging in Tallahassee" according to Eduardo Padron, president of Miami Dade College. Padron concludes in a recent editorial in the Herald, "State at the Bottom",, that the failure of spending on education "will have devastating effects on our community." Add the FCAT to that judgement and tying teachers to a failed model of high school education, and you have the good beginnings for a report on the real Jeb Bush legacy.
Nickens, for the St. Pete Times, is right when he concludes on Bush: "It must be nice to get your way and settle old scores without having to defend your own record." So, Miami Herald, why not report that story?