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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Study: Marco Rubio strongest GOP presidential contender, better communicator than Jeb Bush



Brad Phillips, an alum of ABC News and CNN, has posted an interesting study on his Mr. Media Training site, rating 18 potential Republican challengers to Barack Obama in 2012 based on their effectiveness communicating in front of the camera. It's a mighty subjective study, based on reviewing video of TV interviews. Rubio earns a solid A, compared to A- for Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee, B for John Thune, B-for Jeb Bush and C + for Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint.

On Rubio: ...He hasn’t been tested (or vetted) on a national stage. I suspect he would do well, but the difference between a statewide campaign and a national one is vast – just ask Barack Obama, who took many months to find his stride as a national candidate.

In the television age, we have never had a contest between two more charismatic candidates. If Mr. Rubio runs, he would match well against President Obama’s oratorical gifts. This guy’s a phenom for a reason, and he earns the highest grade to date.

On Jeb Bush: Governor Bush’s charisma is real, but understated. His obvious distaste for the interviewer’s questions makes him look more like a professorial scold than a winning presidential candidate.

Mr. Bush is not well-aligned to constituent concerns on the immigration issue, as public opinion polls find Arizona’s immigration law is broadly popular. Primary opponents would demagogue his moderate stance, likely blocking his nomination.

And then there’s his last name. Although Jeb Bush comes across as a more thoughtful and articulate man than his brother, certain facial expressions are eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush, making it hard for voters to forget his lineage.

Still, Jeb Bush is a serious man who would likely fare well in a general election.


[Last modified: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:46am]


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