Opinion

Jeb Bush, once frontrunner, fights against campaign burnout

“I believe that a conservative can win, campaigning with his arms wide open, with joy in his heart,”Jeb Bush said, explaining how he will win at a conference in Reno, Nevada.

Jeb, once the favorite of the Republican establishment and most financially supported candidate to date, might have a super PAC worth over $114 million (“Right to Rise”), but this has not prevented his unexpected drop in popularity. Though a myriad of doubts initially surrounded big names Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, these three political outsiders managed to undermine Jeb by garnering 58 percent of the Republican vote. Jeb is now vying to stay relevant and is determined to rekindle his following. So, how is Jeb making sure he still has a shot at making history as the third Bush to become POTUS?

Revolutionizing His Party

Since Jeb’s days as uber-conservative governor of Florida, he has shifted toward a centrist stance on a range of issues. While he still touts conservative tax cuts, Jeb’s stances on immigration and education set him apart from other conservatives inside the Beltway.

On immigration, Jeb’s relatively lenient stance will make his conservative audience wary; his amnesty-like outlook that clashes with Trump’s plan to implement a nationwide e-verify, a penalty for overstaying one’s visa, and a mandatory deportation of all illegals.

As for education reform, Jeb fully backs the Common Core program despite solid arguments against the standards. For example, districts worry about spending too much on technology for the mandatory online tests and sacrificing the quality of education in the states where the standards already exceed those of Common Core. Some conservatives have denounced the program as “Obamacore.”

If Jeb was eventually to become the GOP nominee, the perception of the Republican Party would be revolutionized in these arenas.

Changing the Public’s Perception

Trump’s recent statement, “Don’t forget, he was supposed to win. And he just doesn’t have the energy,” echoes the same idea that can be found in all of his attacks toward Bush — that Jeb is allegedly a passive candidate.

Instead of defending himself from the hotheaded real estate tycoon’s remarks with verve, Jeb usually opted to give subdued responses. Though this approach falls in line with his desire to win “with arms wide open, with joy in his heart,” clearly, he needs to adopt a more assertive tone in order to stand out from the crowd of 15 diverse GOP presidential hopefuls.

It should come as no surprise to the public that Bush’s campaign now focuses on portraying him as an extremely passionate man. He hoped using his name followed by an exclamation point as his logo would “connote excitement.”

Efforts to try and separate his “low-energy” persona from the “ever-ready” character with which he plans to finish his race to the White House have gone successfully so far.

Some of the more memorable ways in which Jeb accomplished turning around his image include making a strong presence at both the second Republican debate and the debut episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In his interview with Colbert, Jeb addressed his lack of an actual slogan by expressing in jest that he hoped using his name followed by an exclamation point as his logo would “connote excitement.”

All 23 million viewers who tuned into CNN’s coverage of the Reagan debate will recall when Jeb fervidly demanded that Trump apologize to his beloved wife for accusing her of influencing his “lenient” immigration policy, or when Rand Paul’s criticism of the Iraq invasion caused Jeb to jump to his brother’s defense, met with a roaring round of applause. Yet another moment that can’t be missed from the second GOP debate was the jab that Jeb hurled at Trump in reference to his flaky and unsubstantiated policies: “You can’t just talk about this stuff and insult leaders around the world and expect a good result.”

Opening Your Minds

There is a fighting chance Jeb can restore the missing spark in his campaign and further heat up the competition. To prove his GOP mettle, he will have to step up his rhetoric game so that he can improve the public’s perception of him and be able to stand out from the other candidates based on his policies’ merits.

He should not veer excessively from his original “campaigning with joy” strategy, but rather modify it slightly by infusing his rhetoric with a little edge every now and then. Another Bush in the capital is a potentially intriguing situation. Jonathan Martin from The New York Times declared that if Jeb won the presidency, it could “reshape Republican politics for a generation.”

We should all go into 2016’s election keeping open minds and refraining from predicting outcomes. We might think we’ve figured elections out, but “we’re hasty, and politicians are slippery.” Remember Scott Walker’s sudden decision to quit even though his numbers were not suffering as badly as some of remaining candidates.

Jeb is a skilled politician and the other candidates would do well in not only aspiring to match his track record as governor of Florida, but also in learning a lesson from the civility he brings to everything he does.

Staying relevant underneath the shadows of Carson, Trump and Fiorina should not be too much of a concern, as the presidential race is far from over. Jeb still has the potential to fire up his campaign and scorch the other candidates before election season rolls around.

After all, Carson’s intolerance for Muslims and lack of political knowledge (suggesting a religious test for holding a place in office violates the Constitution) are enough tinder to set off the flaming out of his appeal, despite his claim that his main qualification is “having a brain.”

Fiorina experienced a recent rise in the polls on account of her strong debate presence and headline-worthy back-and-forth with Trump, but her appeal will most likely not last either because her demeanor is too serious. She was the only candidate in the debate who didn’t crack one smile or at least attempt some form of humor. Personality aside, Fiorina’s failed business record at Hewlett-Packard will be her real undoing.

Precedence also proves that Americans do not usually elect political outsiders. It’s only happened four times in history: Zachary Taylor, Ulysses Grant, Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower. Three of these four were war heroes.

The charm of the “Big Three” will burn out soon enough because people will come to realize that experience, not fresh perspective, is the best asset of them all — the informed voter will not let the original disenchantment with Beltway politics dictate who becomes POTUS in 2016.

 Adrianne Babun-Chavarria is a junior majoring in biology and English.
October 11, 2015

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Adrianne Babun-Chavarria


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Jeb Bush, once frontrunner, fights against campaign burnout”

  1. Dave Francis says:

    Just because the unspeakable issue of granting drivers Licenses to illegal aliens in the blue state of California, doesn’t mean that other states are exempt from the effects? That means they have official ID and can con the most efficient election worker. The whole voter system is a mess and if you really want to learn about VOTER FRAUD, look into those exact words on any Internet search browser. Why hasn’t the federal government stepped in to stop the proliferation on drivers licenses to illegal aliens in California and other states. Oh! I forgot this individual who became our President Obama has trod into the mud our Constitution and citizens sovereign rights? Have all the leaders in the GOP establishment and the higher hierarchy in Congress forgotten that the people run this country and pay their Public Servants a large salary? Our politicians are slinking around like puppies who have been scolded, afraid of speaking out a turn about our Rule of Law or have we become accustomed to slime expressed of the Political Correct Police or the America Civil Liberties Union, who have allowed America to fall into disarray?

    If you cannot find the time to check out the truth about this festering abscess called VOTER FRAUD, then shame on you–then we deserve everything that happens to our nation, under this administration?

    There is only one true candidate for President, who will stop the illegal alien invasion? That is NOT Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. They might pledge that they will do something about the invaders, but that will soon fade away. Only person who has the courage and strength to take on the professional politicians is Donald Trump. I trust his ability to build the massive wall and revise E-Verify so its MANDATORY and start the deportation of illegal aliens and visa overstays. With MANDATED E-VERIFY and business owner know they can receive hefty fine and even prison for hiring foreigners. My taxes need to go to the Vets, senior citizens and Americans who live in poverty. I want a decent education for my autistic son, not the children of illegal aliens.

    I heard today that moron for a governor in California, with the name of Moonbeam Brown signed into law drivers licenses for illegal aliens, which they try to amalgamate with lawful immigrants who came here. Well, folks, this is exactly what happens when you elect a lunatic as your governor! To me, anybody who slithered through our Southern or Northern border like a thief in the hours of darkness or outright lied to the immigration agents at airports or entered through another port of entry, should be thrown into prison. That’s exactly what they do in Mexico and you will pay a high price for your indiscretion.

    So now this crazy man who runs California has now made it possible for illegal aliens to fraudulently vote–easier than ever before–as I am sure they did to place this extreme Liberal we have now in Washington DC. All his promises of bringing jobs to citizens and legal residents has faded away and instead saturating this nation with the poverty of other countries and demanding we the taxpayer to pay for their families and all their children. Through the use of clandestine methods, namely the Voter Motor Bill, millions and I mean millions of illegal aliens who are Democrats will fraudulently use the ballet box, absentee ballets to steal from the American citizenry the final piece of liberty, bequeathed to us by the founding fathers of one vote, per man. Now it has been stolen by Liberal progressives that are slowly destroying the foundation that the United States was built on?

    First thing President Trump needs to do, is began the repatriation of the 12 to 30 million illegal aliens who have illegally settled here, stolen our jobs, our welfare money with the assistance of a corrupt two party system of government? The people trust neither the Republicans or the Democrats as they allow the cheap labor to pour though our open borders.

    The California Dept. of Motor Vehicles has already said that it has no way to distinguish citizens from non citizens once the information is entered into the database. True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht stated, “This bill is terrible. It makes an already bad situation much, much worse,” adding that California’s registration databases “lack the necessary safeguards to keep non citizens off the voter rolls.” “Under the law, automatic voter registration would not take place until the state’s long-awaited voter database, VoteCal, is up and running; there is a system in place to protect the transfer of non-citizen information; and money has been appropriated by the Legislature. However, when have you ever heard government doing anything right?

    However, that doesn’t matter to the incompetent idiots in Sacramento or Washington as they want a ‘One Party System’ in our country? Election Integrity Project of California President Linda Paine echoed that AB 1461 “will effectively change the form of governance in California from a Republic whose elected officials are single-minded that United States citizens and will guarantee that non-citizens will participate in all California elections going forward.” The Election Integrity Project of California had joined True the Vote to demand that brown veto the bill, calling it a path to “‘state sanctioned’ voter fraud.” This is one of the reasons the Democrats have fought ‘Tooth and Nail” against any official ID card, that would stop any election fraud.

    Unfortunately, we can’t have this discussion without Democrats persistently claiming that voter fraud isn’t real and citing the rareness of convictions for such crimes. This is one of the most hollow wiles imaginable. The principal rationale for this is that we actually have no idea how much voter fraud takes place because there is essentially nobody looking for it.

    So California is about to register a massive avalanche of new voters. How many of them will actually be legally entitled to cast a ballot? Even though the argument is that illegal aliens/migrants and lawful immigrants whose population has expanded to more than citizens?

    Pass it on to every American.

  2. Robert says:

    Nonsense!Nobody wants Bush…..

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