Sometime you can’t just take it back…
The Brits elected their new government last week. The entire process…from the mandatory resignation of the current Parliament…through the campaigns…the actual voting…and the post-election celebrations and concession speeches…took 38 days.
By contrast it takes us roughly 600 days to elect a new president. Beginning with the exploratory committees…setting up a PAC…the unending fund raisers…the primaries…the countless debates…the national conventions…the actual campaign season…the voting…and the dozen or so presidential balls…it takes us 600 days to elect a new president.
No one can expect any candidate for the presidency to navigate his or her way through the 600 day gauntlet of the most intense and invasive public scrutiny known to man without making a misstep or misstatement along the way. Some faux pas are easily forgiven and forgotten. Crazy Uncle Joe Biden has put together a pretty successful political career in spite of being the poster boy saying stupid stuff.
But some misstatements break through the political veneer and give us a view into the very soul of the candidate. Sometimes those misstatements give us a clear picture of who that candidate really is. Sometimes that view is so damaging that no amount of political damage control can ever erase the vision from our eyes. Mitt Romney’s commentary on the “47%” comes to mind.
Last week Jeb Bush made such a statement.
Candidate Jeb Bush has been forced to endure the inevitable comparisons between himself and his famous father and brother: George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush…our nation’s 41st and 43rd presidents. Jeb Bush has made it his mission to state with great clarity that while he loves and respects his father and brother: “I am my own man.”
As the former governor of the state of Florida no one is questioning candidate Bush’s domestic policy bona fides. But his lack of foreign policy experience has proven to be grist for the mill of the insatiable fourth estate.
Last week while attending a fund raiser he was asked who he would lean on for advice when it comes to the weighty issues of the Middle East.
His answer…former President George W. Bush.
George W. Bush…the man under whose watch the country endured the worst attack ever perpetrated on American soil. George W. Bush…the man who chaired the national security team that led our country into one of the darkest periods in American history. The man who to this day, in spite all evidence to the contrary, says the invasion of Iraq was “the right decision.” The man who to this day believes that “enhanced interrogation techniques” do not constitute torture. The man who directed this country to circumvent the rule of law in pursuit of revenge. George W. Bush…the man who spends his days painting portraits of his dog while Iraq still burns. This is Jeb Bush’s go to guy on all things Middle East.
Sometimes there are statements that are so lacking in awareness they can only serve to disqualify a candidate from ever attaining the office he seeks.
This is such a statement.