With George W. Bush looking visionary about Hispanic vote, Jeb may get a boost
Beth Reinhard of National Journal writes about a reassessing of President George W. Bush, who espoused a more inclusive approach to Hispanics before the GOP drifted to the right, and finds an upside for Jeb Bush.
These signs of wear and tear to the Republican brand are prompting some of Bush’s critics to acknowledge his political foresight and ability to connect with a diverse swath of Americans, although the economic crash and unpopular wars on his watch make it unlikely he will ever be held up as a great president.
“I think I owe an apology to George W. Bush,” wrote Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of the conservative National Review Online, after the election. “I still don't like compassionate conservatism or its conception of the role of government. But given the election results, I have to acknowledge that Bush was more prescient than I appreciated at the time.”
The ebb in Bush-bashing could help pave the way for a 2016 presidential bid by his brother, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, another proponent of immigration reform with proven appeal in the Hispanic community. “The Bush family knows how to expand the party and how to win,” said GOP consultant Mark McKinnon, a former George W. Bush political aide, when asked about a possible Jeb Bush campaign. Voter wariness toward a third Bush administration could ease if the former president and his father, who served one term, are remembered less for their failures and more for their advocacy of “compassionate conservatism” and “a kinder, gentler nation.”