Mr. Bush’s advisers and allies once predicted that he would emerge as the dominant Republican in the 2016 campaign, fueled by his record of conservative accomplishment as Florida’s governor, his popularity at the end of his time in office and the fund-raising prowess of the Bush family network. But now they are resigned to a far longer and uglier slog for him in the Republican nominating contest.
“The operative word inside the campaign is patience,” said Al Cardenas, a former Florida Republican Party leader and longtime ally of Mr. Bush. “As people get to know him, things will get better.” New York Times, June 15 2015
Even the New York Times has fallen into the narrative making rounds on the 24/7 news cycle: Jeb has real competition from a younger generation of candidates like Marco Rubio. Scott Walker.
It’s a fiction that sells newsprint and keeps eyeballs on TV news. Jeb Bush! will be the Republican nominee for president.
So far, it is all shiny surfaces. Like Jeb’s “curiousity”. Or his intent to run a "joyful" presidential campaign.
Thanks to money, it is inconceivable anyone but Jeb Bush will be the GOP nominee in the 2016 presidential race. He is the proven entity to GOP financiers who shape elections. It will be as Eye On Miami predicted earlier on: Marco Rubio will lead the roller derby pack, elbowing the competition out of the way, until Jeb Bush! can be swung to the front. Who knows, maybe even Scott Walker will be the one to swing him forward.
So today, an official campaign kick-off will provide sound bites and chances for Jeb to rehash the fiction he hasn't been running but now he is. Jeb Bush! made sure hundreds of millions of unlimited campaign contributions found their way from anonymous donors into superPAC's before he had to bring the pretense to an end.
We know Jeb Bush! at Eye on Miami and have little enthusiasm for his record as governor. For eight years we observed Jeb Bush! in motion and there is no reason to believe otherwise: if elected to president he would use the same ill-tempered and judgmental approach to problem-solving at a national scale as he did as governor. (cf. New York Magazine's recent feature on Jeb!)
Now GOP voters are being asked to believe that Jeb Bush! has been reborn as a leader who found “joy” since leaving the governor's mansion in Tallahassee. In a general election, that will not fly. Based on evidence and the record, Jeb was a divider not a uniter. He saw no need to even acknowledge those who dissented with his policies.
His mode, to make policies fit predetermined outcomes, matches exactly what the biggest Republican donors like the Koch Brothers and Big Sugar want.
The winnowing of the 2016 field of GOP candidates won't have to do with ideas or personality. It will be about who can marshall the money to convey messages framed around twenty second television spots.
It will be Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton and the narrative of political dynasties. One can tell that story in 20 seconds. Get ready for billions to be spent telling it.