Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 24, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) remains something of a powerhouse in Republican circles, so it seemed noteworthy that he doesn't seem to have much respect for a certain former half-term governor of Alaska.

In a recent interview with Newsmax, Bush was asked whether he thought Palin was a viable candidate for president. Though he had some nice things to say about her "charisma," it was clear that Bush thinks Palin doesn't have the intellectual heft to occupy the oval office. He said that Palin's success depends on her willingness to add a "depth of understanding of the complexity of life we're living in today" to her rhetoric.

"That's up to her," he said. "I mean, I don't know what her deal is, but my belief is in 2010 and 2012, public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity."

First, that seems like pretty tough rhetoric, which is also fair under the circumstances.

Second, it's a shame Jeb didn't think intellectual curiosity was a prerequisite for public leaders in 2000 and 2004.

Steve Benen 3:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

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Comments

In Jeb's defense, if my brother were running for president, I don't think I'd knock him either. Not only would I like being a president's brother (and yeah, I'd be the Billy Carter type), but I just don't think it's appropriate to diss family; even if you don't think they're qualified.

But all the same, I never saw Jeb as having the highest respect for George and imagine he was a little bitter that he wasn't the one picked to take the throne. They both became governors of large states at about the same time, but Jeb got passed over for his dumber brother. Frankly, I'm not sure whether we'd have been better off with a smarter Bush in office.

As for his remarks on Palin, this is a big reason why I don't think Palin will ever get the nomination. The GOP Establishment simply isn't crazy enough that they'd allow a loose cannon like Palin in charge. Bush wasn't smart, but he was savvy enough to know when to play along with the team. Palin only looks out for Palin.

Republican presidents aren't supposed to be smart, but they need to learn how to stay on script. Palin refuses to do that. Republican leaders would be far better off pissing off the Tea Partiers and splintering the party than allowing Palin to be their president.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on February 24, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, but his brother was noticeably brighter than Sarah Palin. It pains me immensely to have to make such a comparison, which feels something like saying that vomit is noticeably less disgusting than poop, but there it is.

Posted by: shortstop on February 24, 2010 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Second, it's a shame Jeb didn't think intellectual curiosity was a prerequisite for public leaders in 2000 and 2004.

Oh he did. It was just that in the Bush clan family comes before country. A well known fact, at least since Prescott.

Posted by: eserwe on February 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

As I understand it, the Bush family always thought Jeb, aka "the smart one," would be the one in the Oval Office.

Posted by: Molly Weasley on February 24, 2010 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Zing! Yes, jeb does have selective requirements for intellectual curiosty. jeb saying this about palin is a reminder of a certain uncurious george at the helm for 8 nightmare years..he's dissing his bro intentionally or not.

Posted by: Cha on February 24, 2010 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the obvious answer to this that Jeb is planning on running in 2012?

Posted by: DR on February 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I strongly suspect Jeb was passed over because he was the less dense of the two; Rove (and Cheney, oozing around behind the scenes) knew Jeb might actually take the job a bit more seriously, and push back against their immorality every once in a while as a matter of conscience, if nothing else. Shrub had no such compunctions (as the country found out to its everlasting regret) so he was the perfect fit for them.

Posted by: electrolite on February 24, 2010 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

How about a follow-up to Bush, like "Hey, thanks buddy, don't you think that information would have been a whole hell of a lot more useful 18 months ago ?"

I think there is nothing more cowardice then to sit by and keep quite, then stick in your two cents after the fact, like Powell did with Iraq. Then expect some sort of praise for finally telling the truth.

Posted by: ScottW on February 24, 2010 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Jeb Bush has a lot of respect for any Governor not named Jeb Bush.

Look at his recent attacks on Crist.

Posted by: howie on February 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

electrolite is channeling Gore Vidal! This is simply a Bidet calling a Summer's Eve a "douche".

Posted by: Trollop on February 24, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

...knew Jeb might actually take the job a bit more seriously, and push back against their immorality every once in a while as a matter of conscience...

I wouldn't go that far. After all "Jeb" was a charter member of the PNAC.

Posted by: G.Kerby on February 24, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jeb and George did not become Governors at the same time. Jeb lost his first try in '94. He was still a first term Governor in 2000 while George was re-elected in '98 by a wide margin. Had Jeb won his race in '94, I suspect he would have been the one to run in 2000.

Posted by: Critical Mass on February 24, 2010 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Critical Mass beat me to it. If Jeb had beaten Lawton Chiles in 1994, he would have been president.

Posted by: shortstop on February 24, 2010 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Ol' Jeb and what a delightful Governor he was, speaking as one who lived under his compassionate conservatism for 8 years . A school system statewide that was ranked 49th out of 50 in spending among other things . They likes them some stupid electorate. Be afraid, very afraid for 2012 when he parades his "Hispanic" wife around and runs for Pres.

Posted by: john R on February 24, 2010 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

...this is a big reason why I don't think Palin will ever get the nomination. The GOP Establishment simply isn't crazy enough that they'd allow a loose cannon like Palin in charge. -Doctor Biobrain

We need look no further than Florida to see that sometimes Frankenstein loses control of the monster, and when he realizes he is losing control, he simply decides to embrace the monster.

Posted by: doubtful on February 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Jeb and George did not become Governors at the same time. Jeb lost his first try in '94.

I stand corrected. I remember him running around the same time, but don't really pay attention to stuff that happens in states not named Texas.

Speaking of which, can anyone tell me why Governor Perry isn't a serious contender for 2012? I know he's an empty-headed bozo, but so was Bush and that didn't stop him from becoming president. He looks good, has a decent voice (not nearly as phony as Bush's Texas drawl), and knows how to stay on message.

For me, he's the best bet for the GOP nomination; yet I never hear anyone else mention him. Is it just that yall don't trust Texan governors anymore, or what?

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on February 24, 2010 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

"The GOP Establishment simply isn't crazy enough that they'd allow a loose cannon like Palin in charge" Doctor Biobrain

Didn't they do just that, when they allowed her to be the 'heartbeat away' running mate of a confused old man?

Posted by: DAY on February 24, 2010 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

We need look no further than Florida to see that sometimes Frankenstein loses control of the monster...

I don't know...is Rubio really a loose cannon like Palin? It's one thing for a politician to embrace the base's crazy, but Palin went fricking rogue as a Vice Presidential nominee. That's simply not acceptable. Yet, Palin second-guessed McCain publicly, refused to learn the basic material, and then invented material while on the stump. Palin was running for Palin since Day One and took pride in embarrassing McCain.

Forget about being a conservative president; Palin could just as easily embrace liberalism, if she felt it would help her politically. In fact, the biggest thing working against her is that no savvy political consultant would be dumb enough to work for her; which is why she's surrounded by bozos who keep feeding her bad advice. Political campaigns demand message-discipline, and that's something Palin's too stupid to understand.

Beyond that, it's a LOT easier for them to rig fifty primary elections than it is one state primary. Not that "rig" is quite the right word, but it amounts to the same thing, the way they run things. Remember, the base HATED McCain; yet he eventually nudged out the others anyway.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on February 24, 2010 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

"The GOP Establishment simply isn't crazy enough that they'd allow a loose cannon like Palin in charge"

From what I understand, that decision was ALL McCain; who, in turn, trusted it to his underlings who didn't do the slightest bit of research on her, beyond checking out her MILF-factor. Hell, they didn't even realize what a socialist she was. But people know more than enough about her now.

For the Republican Establishment, this has nothing to do with her being stupid, crazy, or unpopular. They can deal with that. But a rogue Republican is a dangerous thing. It takes a certain amount of intelligence to be a sheep, and unfortunately, Sarah Palin just doesn't have it. Teamwork is simply not a skill Palin was graced with.

And that's the thing, for as unhinged as Palin seems, I could easily see her repeating her Alaska success, by taxing oil companies, building bridges, and handing out free money to citizens. I'm not sure how anyone can look at her record and call her a conservative, but it certainly doesn't apply. Palin supports Palin, and that's it; and if that means giving people free stuff, she'll do it.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on February 24, 2010 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Third, if a Bush says you lack intellectual curiosity ... well that says everything.

Posted by: DanSF on February 24, 2010 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

" it's a shame Jeb didn't think intellectual curiosity was a prerequisite for public leaders in 2000 and 2004."

As has been pointed out, the Bush family doesn't do American values. All they do is Bush values. But by the same token, I'm sure Jeb is aware of what he said and what the implications for his dear brother are.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on February 24, 2010 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

it's a shame Jeb didn't think intellectual curiosity was a prerequisite for public leaders in 2000 and 2004.

and have good ol' bar come down on him like a ton of bricks? i don't think so.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on February 24, 2010 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Jeb may be the smartest of the Bush brothers, but that's only saying so much. After all, he's the guy who had no clue what his dad meant by "unleashing Chang."

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on February 24, 2010 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just that yall don't trust Texan governors anymore, or what? - Doctor Biobrain @ 16:25

That and movie stars from Kalifornia (RayGun, Swartz)

Personally, I'm tired of good hair, the noise and shoot from the hips. I want savvy with a full understanding of history and respect for the law. That should narrow the field considerably.

Posted by: Kevin on February 24, 2010 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

nice post. thanks.

Posted by: pharmacy tech on February 25, 2010 at 6:51 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting.

I have always thought that his brother suffered from a severe lack of intellectual curiosity.

Posted by: ET on February 25, 2010 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

What a great resource!

Posted by: Pharmacy Technician on February 26, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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