Jeb inadvertently admitted that he is a GOP presidential candidate -- violating federal election law -- although there is slim chance he will be prosecuted. He also made another big mistake when he told a group of Manhattan financiers that his top adviser on US-Israeli policy is George W. Bush.
That lead Fox News, "fair and un-balanced", to help clarify. Jeb also says "he is his own man", but he has embraced much of his brother's White House foreign policy team. In February, his campaign released a list of 21 foreign policy advisers; 17 of them served in the George W. Bush administration including the architect of the Bush Iraq policy, Paul Wolfowitz.
When Jeb told Fox News this week that he would have committed the US to war in Iraq based on what we know now, he committed the political Freudian slip of admitting his advisors are the very same ones who ignored evidence on Iraq and Afghanistan and paved the way to outcomes that are breaking the back of taxpayers and families of those who served.
The cost of ill-advised wars to American taxpayers for mistakes embraced by Jeb's team of advisors? At least $3 trillion.
Jeb's errors on the campaign trail can't be chalked up to inexperience. They are forced by trying to make reality conform to imaginary story lines. The further problem for Jeb: while he was governor in Florida, that strategy for dealing with the media actually worked.
Jeb's two terms as governor were defined by zealously pursuing predetermined outcomes on social policies. Although he is keeping public distance from his brother's political svengali, Karl Rove, today; Rove was at the heart of Jeb's political career.
Instead of being inclusive of diverse opinions and points of view within his administration, he was intently focused on separating out those he judged to be his political enemies. "My way or the highway" defined the Jeb Bush governing style in Florida, teed up by Rove in the early 1990's when Jeb was being groomed to be the next Bush to be president.
Although Jeb looks better than he has in years, fit to compete against a younger crowd in the primary marathon, his mistakes this week won't heal with time. Big money donors who are telling each other there's eight months to primary elections and time heals all wounds are "all-in" with Jeb the same way W. was "all-in" with Iraq.