[ We need to be taking a long, hard look at Jeb Bush’s conservative credentials after he was foolish enough to appear on an Obama campaign stop. What could he have possibly been thinking? – JS ]
The President's Friday "education" event in Florida was, for all intents and purposes, a 2012 campaign appearance. So on stage with President Obama should be the last place a serious Republican should want to be. Especially if you're the brother of a man whose record the President and his surrogates have spent the past four years trashing. But there was former Florida governor and almost-declared 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, introducing the 44th president of the United States.
Florida is a swing state, and President Obama went down there in an effort to protect and build upon his support in that state. And Jeb was there to help him. Don't forget that on many of the biggest issues of the day--globalization, the rise of China, open borders--Jeb agrees with Obama and disagrees with most Republicans. Remember that to the Bushes, the three worst demons are nativism, protectionism, and isolationism. On the first two, at least, Obama is much closer to the Bushes than is the typical tea partier. Would Jeb rather see Obama re-elected than see the borders closed? Would Jeb rather see Obama re-elected than see a trade war between the U.S. and China? (Someone should ask him both questions.) And those who are Jeb boosters should be asked why their favorite candidate seems so eager to help Obama get re-elected.
Conservatives are already sensing that in 2015 or so, Jeb will be crammed down our throats by the GOP establishment. We will be told "Oh, Jeb is really the conservative member of the family." "He was always better than his older brother," etc. When that time comes, everyone needs to remember that in 2011--when Obama's re-election was still in doubt--Jeb decided to make a campaign stop with Obama.
The fact that a Republican who is likely to run for president in the future is appearing with Obama at a campaign event is a really big deal, a lot more important than anything Tim Pawlenty or Sarah Palin are up to. Political reporters should be paying a lot more attention to this story than they are--and conservative media outlets should be demanding an explanation from Jeb, or (since the Bushes don't give explanations to conservative media outlets) from any conservative who supports Jeb.
Remember that Charlie Crist's political career was ruined by his appearance with Obama. Jeb and his supporters should be asked to explain why his situation is different.
- At Fla. school, Obama praises Jeb Bush (politico.com)