First Round of Guests Invited To Speak at CPAC 2013 Released

The American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Al Cardenas today announced the first round of speakers invited to appear at CPAC 2013 – the annual national Conservative Political Action Conference.

According to Cardenas
“As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of CPAC, we are excited to present a conference focused on our timeless principles but also explore and define the future of the conservative movement,” .

Among the many speakers invited to appear so far are:

Cardenas added;
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“Each of the invited speakers plays a critical role in the movement and we’re pleased to invite them to address the nation’s top conservative thinkers, policymakers, authors and media as well as thousands of conservative leaders, activists and students at CPAC 2013.”
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The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, to be held March 14-16, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, will provide three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional American values. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s Capital since 1973, and it now stands as the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country. For additional information, visit our website at conservative.org/cpac2013, on Facebook at facebook.com/CPACNews, or on Twitter at @cpacnews and #CPAC2013. Media registration (including bloggers) will be available on February 1, 2013.

The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.  In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.  Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.  Why jump in front of a train wreck?  Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.  Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.  Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.  The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.  Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.  He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.  If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.  But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.  Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.  However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.  Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.  While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.  Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.  But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.  Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.  Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.  Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.  We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.  There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.  In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.  That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.  However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.  Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.  He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.  Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.  As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.  Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.  But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.  And there are a few to choose from.  Rubio would lock of Florida.  Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.  Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.  Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.  Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessement of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush 

Born: February 11, 1953 (age 57), Midland, Texas

Spouse(s): Columba Bush

Children : George Prescott, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr

Residence : Coral Gables, Florida

Alma mater: University of Texas

Profession: Banker, Realtor

Religion: Roman Catholic

(Click here for Jeb’s White House 2012 page)

I know, I know, not another Bush.  But you know what?  Get over it.  Take a look at the record, not the name.  If we are so prejudiced that we can’t get over a name, then we have much bigger problems than we realize.  Besides, we elected a man whose middle name is Hussein, for Christ’s sake.  So you can live with the name Bush again.  And if you are capable of getting past the name, you will see that Jeb is probably the most truly conservative of all the Bushes to come before him and of all the politicians out there today who claim to be conservative.

Beyond having an exceptional record during his two terms as Governor Florida, Jeb is experienced, innovative, articulate, steady handed and politically savvy.  And he would be sure to deliver Florida to the Republican side of the electoral ledger.  That in and of itself is enough to get him a spot on someone’s ticket.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election.  The last time it did make a difference was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate.  That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led  attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won be stopped.  In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally.  But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P.  candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent.  Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why Jeb Bush must be considered as very real potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

If Marco Rubio, the perceived favorite of most Republicans, holds true to his word and refuses to accept any nomination for Vice President in 2012, Jeb Bush will be the only figure from Florida whose “favorite son” status is so powerful that he could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney.  Therefore, when it comes to Jeb being on the ticket, never say never.

That stated,  not only do I believe that Jeb has no deep desire to be Vice President or President, at least not in 2012, I also believe he is more likely to become the next Secretary of Education than he is to become the next Vice President.

Jeb’s work on behalf of education is unprecedented.  He has delivered innovation and exceptionalism to educating our children and the next generation of Americans to enter the American workforce.  And if the next President does not intend to abolish the Department of Education, Jeb Bush will do the job justice.   Jeb probably won’t run for President or accept the vice presidency until he has fulfilled his role as Educator-in-Chief.

Pros:

  • Bush can go a long way in helping to carry Florida, a major swing state that the G.O.P. can not afford to lose
  • Jeb Bush’s presence on the ticket would help energize a large segment of conservatives who are unenthusiastic with Romney
  • Bush has been vetted far more than most other candidates
  • Has executive political experience
  • Is articulate, passionate, and a seasoned campaigner and vote getter
  • Is a proven vote getter among Hispanics
  • Will be a prolific fund raiser for the presidential ticket
  • His record on economic issues as Governor of Florida will allow a Romney-Bush ticket to espouse the the type of masterful economic stewardship for the nation that Bush practiced in the Sunshine State.

Cons:

  • His last name

Overall Assessment:

Despite his last name, Jeb Bush is probably one of the finest choices there is but since politics is more perception than  reality, Jeb’s last name will probably preclude him from being selected even though his record and personal political history would make him the strongest choice that Romney could make for Vice President.  Unfortunately, the Bush name is something that Republicans are too afraid of having to contend with so Jeb is most likely not the one to expect to see running in November. However, in 2012, the selection of a Vice President and where that vice presidential choice comes from, could effect the election far more than it has in the past and if it is determined that winning Florida is the key to winning the election and that the only way to win it is by having a favorite son of the state on the ticket, then Jeb is a very real option.  Especially if Marco Rubio refuses to accept the nomination.

Ultimately I do not believe that any Republican is brave enough to pick Jeb Bush because of their fear that the Bush name will hurt them.  And that is shame.  But while I am pretty sure Jeb Bush won’t be on the Republican ticket in November, I am quite certain he will be in the cabinet of the next Administration.  Most likely as Secretary of Education.

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Jeb Bush on The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform  Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

Newt Wins, on to Florida

With Perry gone and Newt’s second resurrection complete, non-Romney supporters seem to have found their man in Newt.  I predicted Santorum would probably pull a Huckabee and win in Iowa.  I also predicted Romney would easily win New Hampshire.  South Carolina was the setup for the defining moment in this race scheduled for January 31 in Florida.  Had Romney won South Carolina, he would nearly have Florida locked up.  Instead, Romney will be going for the fight of his life again in Florida.  He has one week to show South Carolina is a fluke, because if Newt Gingrich can come back and beat Romney so handily in South Carolina based solely on a two strong debate performances, Romney has already lost the electability argument.  Newt swept all but two counties.

Liabilities for Newt include a strong negative campaign against him in Florida which is already underway.  Also, Santorum may not realize it, but he is in danger of doing to Newt what Huckabee did to Romney in 2008.  Newt was right, Santorum should get out of the race.  However, one thing is clear: Romney is not breaking out of his support base and he has fewer opponents to split the remaining votes.  If Santorum were to drop out of the race, Romney may as well join him.

Floridians watch a lot of TV.  They also are concerned with electability.  I will repeat my prediction that the key in the race for Florida will be the January 27th debate in Jacksonville Florida.  If Newt does well in that debate, the momentum from South Carolina will carry him.  If Newt wins Florida, it will be very difficult for Romney to make a comeback.  If Newt loses in Florida, then the assessment that non-Romney supporters need to make is what Newt plus Santorum’s votes combined would have been.

Oh, and one last parting thought.  The late breaking rumor is that Jeb Bush, the most popular Florida governor in decades, is choosing to stay neutral.  Most had been expecting him to endorse Romney.  I think Jeb sees the writing on the wall.

Trunkline 2012: Wednesday’s Wit and Words from the Campaign Trail, 10/12/11

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Christie, Gingrich, Daniels and Romney Top New Jersey Presidential Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share At a gathering of Republican candidates, campaign managers, staffers and grass root activists, White House 2012 and Building the New Majority sponsored New Jerseys first Republican presidential straw poll for the 2012 election and the winner was their own Governor, Chris Christie.

Of the 196 voters who participated, 19.8% named Governor Christie their first choice for the Republican presidential nomination. Coming in second was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich with 12.5%, followed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 9.4% each, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee 7.3%, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush 6.3%, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty 5.2%, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tied at 4.2%.

The Garden State Republican Presidential Straw Poll consisted of 25 of the most often mentioned names and likely contenders in the emerging Republican field. Due to the large size of the still developing field and the likelihood that some, if not many of those names on the ballot may not run, or may not make it to the New Jersey primary, unlike most traditional straw polls, the White House 2012/BTNM ballot also asked New Jersey Republicans who their second choice for President was. The big winner here was Mitt Romney who was the second choice of 20.8% of voters. This conclusion is quite important given the fact that Governor Christie has repeatedly denied any interest in running for President in 2012.

Following Romney in this second choice category was Sarah Palin, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, each with 8.3%, Mike Huckabee 6.3% and Mitch Daniels 5.2%.

Click here to read raw numbers

A third question on the ballot asked voters to describe their place on the ideological scale within the Republican Party. None of the respondents described themselves as liberal but 75%, or 144 of the participating voters called themselves conservative, and the remaining 48 (25%), described themselves of moderate.

Among self described conservatives, a majority of 15.3% named Chris Christie as their first choice for the presidential nomination and 23.6% of them named Mitt Romney as their second choice for the nomination. As for moderates 33.3% of them also declared Christie to be their first choice but their second choice for the nomination was Rudy Giuliani who took that position with 25% of the vote from moderates.

See complete results below this post

The poll was conducted by White House 2012 and Building the New Majority amongNew Jersey Republicans who participated ina recent seminar sponsored by Building the New Majority and the Family PolicyCouncil that took place in Parsippany, New Jersey.

While these results are by no means a sure sign of how the New Jersey Republican presidential primary will turnout less than a year from now, it does offer a good glimpse at where the energies and enthusiasm of the activist base of the states G.O.P. lie. These results demonstrate to me, that at this stage in the game, if Chris Christie is true to his word about not running for the nomination, Mitt Romney looks good in New Jersey. Romney worked the Republican base and Party activists pretty well in 2008, and while minds are by no means made up yet, his efforts of the last campaign for president are giving him a slight advantage in New Jersey in the coming election.

As indicated by the numbers, the results were influenced by a largely conservative vote, but a strong conservative influence is likely to dominate New Jersey’s actual presidential primary. How much has yet to be seen.

The Raw Numbers

Who is your FIRST CHOICE for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination?

Who is yourSECOND CHOICE for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination?

Do you consider yourself to be a liberal, a moderate, or conservative Republican?

  1. Conservative 144 75%
  2. Moderate 48 25%
  3. Liberal 0 0

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Buddy Roemer. Free To Lead?

Bookmark and Share Free to lead. Thats the tagline former Democrat turned Republican, Governor of Louisiana Charles Buddy Roemers presidential exploratory effort. On his website, Roemer describes himself as an independent voice with no entanglements to special interests a quality that makes him free to lead. To punctuate the point, Roemer pledges to not take a dime a special interest money. Nothing from PACs and no donation above $100.

Independent wealth does not evade this former businessman, banker and real estate developer and some of the wealth he has accumulated will certainly be invested in his effort, but how much depends on how serious he is about his presidential ambitions. Without a willingness to make his substantial personal financial investment, it will be difficult for Roemer to compete with a wealth of other potential Republican candidates who have much more extensive fundraising operations and capabilities than Roemer.

But money is the least of Roemers problems at the moment. The size and extent of his base and its growth potential are most critical. While it is not unheard of to see a long shot candidate beat the odds, Roemer does not start off with much of a base to grow upon. And he has virtually no base outside of the South and more specifically, outside of his state. These will be obstacles hard to overcome in a year where several solid candidates are growing their bases of support and will seen force Roemer to compete with. This will make everything else harder for Roemer. It will make it harder for message to be heard, for him to be taken seriously and to raise a significant amount of money from those 100 dollar or less donations.

Buddy Roemer starts his campaign off with an attractive message. But he has a long way to go to distinguish himself from a field of other candidates who will be claiming that they too are free to lead.

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Former Louisiana Governor Roemer to Take First Step Toward White House Run

Bookmark and Share As initially reported here in White House 2012, former GovernorCharles Buddy Roemer is thinking about running for the Republican presidential nomination. To be clear, this is Charles “Buddy Roemer” of Louisiana, not RoyRoemer, a Democrat and the former Governor of Colorado. I had hopedBuddy Roemerwouldnt because now it means I have to redo the listing of contenders and make a whole new widget and bio for the guy. But apparently my wish wont come true because on Thursday, Buddy will announce that he is setting up an exploratory committee.

The timing of this announcement does however raise questions about Roemers strategic ability. On this same day Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will also be announcing the creation of his presidential exploratory committee. Now unless the media intends on dedicating a larger chunk of time than I expect to Republicans whom wish to defeat President Obama next year, which candidate do you think will get more time and coverage for their announcement?

But aside fromBuddy Roemer announcing the creation of his exploratory committee in a way that will make him an after thought to Newt Gingrich, Roemers entry in to the race is largely seen as wildcard candidacy that is banking on the hope that big name Southern Governors like Mike Huckabee and Haley Barbour do not get in to the race. Other former Southern Governors such as Bob Riley of Georgia are also contemplating a run. But the only way for names like Riley and Roemer to last in the Republican contest for any significant amount of time is the hope that they can consolidate the old South behind them. Such can not be done with people like Barbour and/or Huckabee running. As it is, it remains to be seen if people like Riley and Roemer can consolidate the South for themselves even if no other Southerners get in to the race.

In my opinion Governor Roemer knows that his time in the national spotlight has come and gone. However; he probably sees running not as a chance to occupy the White House, but as a means by which to visit the Oval Office, possibly as a member of a new Republican Presidents cabinet.

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Another Southern Governor Looking To Occupy the G.O.P. Presidential Field?

Bookmark and ShareThelatest scuttlebutt is that former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer is looking at a run for the Republican presidential nomination. This comes from reports in the DesMoines Register and Times Picayune which were picked up by Politico.com who linkedto it from an article in the Monroe News Starwhich quotedRoemer as saying he’s “doing my homework,” and “I’m getting ready to make my case with the American people,”. Furthermore; the Monroe News Star also reports that Roemer said he will announce within the next month whether he will be a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Some from that same paper also conclude that it is adone deal because as they put it,“Roemer talks in an interview as if his mind is already made up. He’s discussed it with his family and board members of his Business First Bank and even has lined up a vice president to run the bank in his absence while campaigning.”

There is no reason to believe that those words are made up by any of the sources but if it is true, I must ask exactly how many Southern Governor’s can fit in to one G.O.P. presidential primary before we reach the point of saturation? There’s Haley Barbour, there was Lousiana’s Bobby Jindal, others hoped for Florida’s Jeb Bush, more seek Texas’ Rick Perry, still more pray for the candidacy of Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee and recently Alabama’s Bob Riley chimed in as a potential candidate. And although he was never a Governor. let us not forget the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who was elected to represent his Georgia district and is said to have picked out office space in Atlanta where he will headquarter his campaign.I may still be missing another one or two in there, but you get my point.When it comes to Buddy Roemerthough, the latest word of a possible run isfurther fueled by the presumption that the former Governor is running because he has been the latest confirmed guest at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Spring Event on March 7th.

Probably more than any other event scheduled yet, this one has sparked the rumor mill about potential candidates most of all. But perhaps its time we get a grip on the reins controlling this here horse. Also attending the event are Ralph Reed Jr., president of the national Faith & Freedom Coalition, Iowa’s 5th District Rep. Steve King, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. Are these people also running for President too? Cause if they are, I missed that headline.

Now I don’t mean to make light of speculation, especially since those of us who can’t wait for the 2012 race to begin, really only have speculation to go on but, come on folks, not everyone speaking at this event is a futurePresident. And while I understand that over600 Iowa activists who will have a hand in the Iowacaucus, are expected to participatein the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s forum and supposedly 60 percent of Iowa Caucus participants in 2010 were self-identified evangelical Christians, while important, this event is not the annual haj to Mecca that its organizers would like to make it sound like. So far, by my count only four of at least 15 potential presidential candidatesare so far confirmed. And one of them is Buddy Roemer. So let’s get a little perspective here.

But in addition to that perspective I must again ask ……….Buddy Roemer? Really? No offense to Mr. Roemerhe did his job to satisfaction and had an abilityto passionately push forward his agenda but he never established a devout, loyal following to build upon and of all the Southernerswho risk dividing the Southern vote, is Roemer really with the arithmatic?

Now I will probably be wearing egg on my face and regretting this if Roemeractually does run and some of my prefferedchoices like Gingrich and Barbour do not. And then Huckabee makes it official that he is not running and Daniels confirms he is sitting it out too. But at the moment I feel secure in the knowledgethat all those chips won’t be falling that way. Buddy Roemer? Really?

In the mean time I am going wait at least a day or two before I rearrangethe widgets on this site and create a new page, bio on Buddy Roemerand links to his websites. That’s a lot of work and I am not sure its worth the effort right now.

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Michael Reagan Wishes Jeb Bush Would Get In The Republican Race for President

During a Friday evening New Jersey Reagan Daydinner, keynote speaker Michael Reagan was asked if he had a favorite in the emerging field of Republican candidates for President.

While Reagan did not endorse any candidate and urged that whoever the nominee, Republicans should remember his father’s 80/20 rule. But before he mentioned his call for unity behindnominee in order to insure the defeat of President Obama, he stated;

“I’ll tell you who I would like to see enter the race. We have a dynamic leader in Florida who is a former Governor. Jeb Bush make a great candidate and his ability to appeal to and bring Latinos West of the Mississippi and Hispanics East of the Mississippi, is something which Republicans will need”

If a Bush were to ever get back into politics…

On November 3rd, 2008 the idea of a Bush ever running for political office again seemed pretty silly. We had a bad taste in our mouth from George H.W. Bush promising not to raise taxes, and then raising them. We had an even worse taste in our mouth from George W. Bush with his wars and deficits in the couple hundred billions. The name had become synonymous with bad politics and even most Republicans knew that the words “Bush” and “good president” in the same sentence was political suicide.

With all that, very little attention was paid to the Bush in Florida who retired five years ago after reaching the state’s term limit on the governor’s office. Jeb Bush left Florida in a far better position than he found it and still enjoys incredible popularity today in the state.

Jeb Bush is still very popular in Florida

I remember going to a McCain rally in NE Florida during the 2008 campaign. When Jeb was announced to introduce John McCain, I wasn’t the only Floridian on my feet enthusiastically cheering. In fact, we cheered harder for our former governor than we did for McCain.

Jeb still maintains great popularity in the state. A few months ago, Public Policy Polling reported that Bush was the only Florida potential candidate who would defeat Bill Nelson for the Senate seat in 2012, if he ran. This was before Nelson walked away from his seat on the Armed Forces Committee which may seal his 2012 doom no matter who he runs against.

George Bush won Florida in 2000 and 2008. In both elections, those 27 electoral votes would have been the difference between a Gore or Kerry Presidency. In 2008, Obama won Florida, but he could have afforded to lose it. I have little doubt that Florida would go the Republican’s way in a Jeb Bush presidential run.

But what about the rest of the country? For the other 49 states, Jeb is not even on the radar and the name Bush still scares a lot of people. On the other hand, as we face a third year with deficits in excess of a trillion dollars and war under Barack Obama, the name Bush isn’t quite as scary as it used to be.

Bush is fluent in Spanish and has a very good relationship with the Hispanic community. He has been quick to advocate for them and to point out how Democrats use that issue as nothing more than a political advantage. He also has been able to maintain a reputation as a moderate and a conservative; a tricky balancing act that voters can easily see through if not done right.

Bush does have some strikes against him with far right conservatives. He opposed the Arizona immigration law and supports state bankruptcy. This puts him in company with others like Pawlenty and Gingrich, but would certainly raise eyebrows in a 2012 primary that is certain to still be riding the TEA party sentiments of 2010.

Bush has sofar elected to stay out of the 2012 race, but has hinted that he may seek the nomination in the future. Given the political landscape going into this race, this may be a wise decision. While Bush is a solid conservative choice and a proven leader, the current issues and divisions on the right do not favor him. So far he has also opted out of the 2012 Senate race. But if a Bush could ever go back to DC in our lifetimes, it would be Jeb.

Jeb Bush. Secretary of Education or President?

Bookmark and ShareOver time, probably both.

While a third Bush presidency is probably not in the cards for 2012, it is not entirely out of the question in the future.

Yet if the potential crowded pool of talented Republicans do not actually come to the surface and run for President, Jeb Bush could actually throw his hat in the ring in 2012 and believe it or not, be a very viable candidate…… over time.

Once the shock of his name wore off and after what he had to say finally sunk in, Jeb Bush would be able to challenge people like Palin, Pawlenty, Paul, Barbour, and Romney and give them a run for their money……… over time.

However; with the wealth of talent that will undoubtedly fill the Republican field of candidates, it will actually be difficult to convince people that we need another Bush, so soon after the last one. And Jeb is not actually making any attempts to indicate that he is interested in running for President in 2012.

Instead, Jeb has been crisscrossing the country and discussing education in America and how to improve it.

The issue is one which he is most passionate about. As governor of Florida, Bush instituted the nation’s first statewide school voucher system, mandated standardized tests in Florida’s public schools, eliminated social promotion and established a system of funding public schools based on a statewide grading system.

Since leaving office as Governor of Florida, education has been the issue Jeb has dedicated his life to. He started out by creating an institute named the Foundation for Excellence in Education and since then, in addition to speaking out on the issue and organizing forums on it, Jeb has been touring the nation as he studies innovative programs, learns about the tools educators need to successfully teach students and develops new ways to deliver quality education to the nation’s students.

The latest stride Bush has taken in this area has been an effort that would bring about a more intricate integration of future technology innovations with current technology in public education. Called the Digital Learning Council, Bush and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise have joined forces to create a panel of education experts that will help move digital learning to the forefront of education and away from the niche role they believe digital learning plays today.

The 60-member council includes Shafeen Charania, director of education product group marketing for Microsoft; Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va.: John D. Couch, vice-president of education at Apple Inc.; and state officials and members of education think-tanks.

According to a news release from the new group, more than 2 million K-12 students take courses online, and 1.5 million home-education students take online courses, but that barely scratches the surface of what is possible through technology.

In an interview with Education Week, Former Governor Bush told Education Week magazine that digital technology’s disruptive nature for good has not been applied to our education system. If you look at how technology has improved our lives, it has only been an accessory in education. The blueprint created by the Digital Learning Council will move us towards a more customized learning environment where more students learn at their maximum pace.

This latest initiative to enhance education in America is just one of many Jeb has taken since he firstbecame Governor of Florida back in 1998. In total, his record on the issue is impeccable and to date, he has done more to improve education in America more than most people of the day. And interestingly enough aside from demonstrating a great government model for teaching and learning, much of Bush’s work has demonstrated how we can improve the quality of education through private sector initiatives, as much, if not more, than government initiated demands.

Jeb’s efforts in the area of education are truly keeping him busy. He has turned the cause into a fulltime job. But it is a job that can certainly set him on the path to other employment opportunities.

Being aBush brother, timing may not allow him to become President in 2012 and he knows it, but a smart man can take time and turn it from an enemy, into a friend. And that is what Jeb is doing to the time he has. Currently, time is on his side. And should the next President in 2012 be Republican other than him, expect Jeb to be a member of that person presidential cabinet.

If the next President does not do away with the Department of Education, expect them to tap Jeb Bush, education’s best friend, to become Secretary of Education and once the President who appoints him to that position is no longer in office, anticipate former Governor and Cabinet member Jeb Bush to become the President after them over time.

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