by Benjamin J. Kirby
Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman [sic], more policeman [sic], more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
So... firemen, police officers and teachers... aren't... American people? Wisconsin? Wait, what?
Oh, I get it: unionized firemen, police officer, teachers -- and, I suppose, anyone else in a union -- are the ones who aren't really American people, because Scott Walker kicked butt, hellz yeah!
Quick question: does this mean the era of Republican exploitation of first responders in a post-9/11 world is finally over? And if so, I'm pretty sure that means Rudy Giuliani gets beamed back up to the mother ship.
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I have to give former Florida Governor Jeb Bush credit for speaking as plainly as I've heard any politician speak about their ambition and the future:
Jeb Bush, who might have been the third member of his family to become president of the United States, says he missed “a window of opportunity” in not running this year.
“This was probably my time,” Bush said in an interview airing on CBS News’ “This Morning.”
“There’s a window of opportunity, in life, and for all sorts of reasons,” said Bush, former two-term Florida governor, brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush.
This doesn’t mean there couldn’t be another window, he suggested.
“Have you made a decision that you don’t want to be president?” CBS host Charlie Rose asked Bush.
“I have not made that decision,” said Bush, who is 59.
I'm not sure his heart was ever in it. That's not to say it wouldn't be in it going forward, some time in the future, but my sense is, there were a lot more Republicans who thought he was the Great Savior and wanted him to run and wanted it a lot more than he did.
Look, we knew this back in December of last year. We knew it before that. Jeb's not running, and he's smart enough to know he probably missed his big window of opportunity.
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And in other former contender news, there's an Anne E. Kornblut must-read in the Washington Post on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and whether she might run for president in 2016 (which has prompted me, somewhat reluctantly, to create two new categories off to the right, there: Election 2014 and Election 2016. I just couldn't abide creating Election 2016 without creating Election 2014 as well.)
Of more than half a dozen Clinton friends and advisers, past and present, who talked candidly about her prospects, most did so on the condition that they would not be quoted. They were split: Some thought she should not run again, while others expressed strong interest in her doing so. But all agreed that she has fully rehabilitated herself since 2008.
Count me in the camp that thinks she won't run again -- not necessarily that she shouldn't, but that she just won't. A couple of paragraphs provide insight:
In the past four years, Clinton recovered from a devastating defeat and made an improbable leap to become a trusted adviser to her formal rival. If she were to run and lose again, a similar recovery would be much more difficult, and the twin defeats could eclipse her life’s work.
The last campaign took its toll. She weathered pronounced sexism. Her team was constantly at war with itself. Above all, Clinton had to take hard stands and try to inspire voters, all while subject to around-the-clock scrutiny. One cautious friend suggested that if Clinton were to run again, her popularity would drop overnight because she would once again be centerstage, a position that makes all politicians more polarizing.
Then there is the other camp: Those who desperately want her to run, fulfilling the hopes of 2008 and the aspirations of those who saw her as the first female president. She has proved herself as a global leader, they argue, and is the most qualified candidate to follow Obama. The chance to make history could outweigh her reluctance after an adequate break.
Is it worth putting up a lifetime record of public service and historic achievement to maybe lose it all in a presidential run?
And let's examine that third paragraph. Notice some similarities to the seemingly endless Jeb Bush speculation stories? It's hard to nail it down, but from my view, it seems that it is the respective friends and supporters of both Jeb and Hillary who want them to run. It's compelling -- and flattering -- when you have such great friends and supporters. But it is just not enough to build a campaign, especially not for President of the United States.
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Honored to have my post on the State Senate race here in Pinellas County picked for a Best of the Blogs by ProgressFlorida.
Thanks so much, you guys.
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Music tonight courtesy of my brother, Adam. Always good to have you around, brother.
It's finally Friday.