Jeb Bush possibly gave the finest speech of his life today in Miami as he announced his run for president. He was comfortable in his skin and he was energized. If you’re the Democrats, for a number of reasons, you have got to be hoping he is not the GOP’s nominee.
First, something that is overlooked many times, Bush has a core of followers who genuinely like him. His support has the potential to be wide. It is already deep. But what is likely most important is that he would get a big chunk of the Latino vote. In the face of the right wing, he has been steadfast in his pro-immigration stance. He is married to a woman from Mexico. He speaks fluent Spanish. He is authentic. It is possible that he could come very close to getting half the Hispanic vote. If so, the election is over.
Unfortunately, the former Florida governor stooped to some typical political smoke and mirrors. He pandered to the ever-decreasing number of Cubans who are against the United States and Cuba opening to the other. That fight is over. The majority of Latinos are in favor of it, as are the vast majority of other Americans and businesses.
Bush also took a shot at President Obama for his executive order on immigration…that he, Bush, as president would pass immigration reform. But the fact is Obama had to use executive order because Jeb’s party blocked immigration legislation.
Going forward Jeb Bush hopes he will resonate as his father’s son more than his role as brother. And that’s possible in that he seems to have much more the manner of his dad in terms of both temperament and his more wonkish approach to policies. Ironically, this will make his road to the nomination more difficult than his road to the presidency.