Get to know Jeb Bush by reading a ton of his email

Campaign 2016
by Kent Covington & Mary Reichard
Posted 2/11/15, 02:00 pm

The staff of The World and Everything in It has profiled 22 possible candidates for president in 2016 in its “White House Wednesday” series. Now they take a look at who’s ahead and who’s making moves as the big campaign gets closer.

The Bush files. Earlier this week, Jeb Bush released some massive files containing about a quarter of a million emails from his time as governor of Florida. On Tuesday morning, he launched a website, jebbushemails.com to promote an upcoming e-book. The first chapter of that book is posted there now. On the website, Bush says the e-book “uses my emails with Floridians as a guide to my eight years as governor.” Bush claims he spent an average of 30 hours a week reading and responding to emails that Floridians sent to his office. Many people had a hard time believing it was actually him responding to their email and not a staffer. But he says he did, and those emails are now available for everyone to see.

Where’s Hillary? Republicans have launched a new campaign called “Hillary’s Hiding,” which aims to call attention to Hillary Clinton’s early campaign strategy of laying low. Clinton hasn’t visited Iowa or New Hampshire this year, and reporters asking for her take on major issues these days routinely hear“no comment” from the Clinton camp.

Politico reports the “Hillary’s Hiding” campaign will feature billboards in early primary states, as well as newspaper opinion pieces. But unless someone emerges on the Democratic side who poses a threat to her nomination, Clinton doesn’t need to be in the spotlight right now. Unlike all of the candidates in the Republican field, she doesn’t have to fight for donors and staffers. And when she was in the limelight more last year, she had a couple of big gaffes that could have a lasting effect. So right now, she is staying out of the line of fire.

Playing the field. This week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became the first Republican White House hopeful to open an office in Iowa. A political group started by Walker has leased space in Urbandale, just outside Des Moines. Walker topped the most recent Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers, edging out Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.  

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is catching the eye of big donors and attracting top campaign talent. Rubio just hired a sought-after former Mitt Romney staffer. Jim Merrill directed Romney’s campaign activities in New Hampshire in both of his White House bids. It appears he’ll now oversee Rubio’s efforts in New Hampshire and elsewhere in the Northeast. 

Another young GOP senator vying for the mantle of conservative standard-bearer continues to hint at a possible presidential campaign. On ABC This Week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, previewed how he would approach the role of Commander in Chief: “When it comes to ISIS, our policy of leading from behind—we’ve seen essentially photo-op foreign policy where we drop a bomb here or a missile there. We need a focused, direct military objective of taking out and destroying ISIS.”

Presidential power rankings. These rankings take the temperature of each Republican campaign. About two-thirds of the equation is polling and recent events that can affect a campaign but may not be showing up in the polls yet. About one-third of the equation is the strength of the candidate. These rankings focus on the Republican race because there really isn’t one on the Democratic side.

  1. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  2. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
  3. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  4. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
  5. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
  6. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  7. Dr. Ben Carson
  8. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
  9. Ohio Gov. John Kasich
  10. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. He cracked the Top Ten for the first time, based on polls.

Listen to “White House Wednesday” on The World and Everything in It.

Mary Reichard

Mary is WORLD Radio’s dialogue editor and cohost of The World and Everything in It.

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  • Janet B
    Posted: Fri, 04/15/2016 05:41 pm

    I can tell you, as a Floridian, that Jeb Bush was a pretty good governor, but I would NOT vote for him for President.  He is too moderate, and promotes Common Core. NO, NO, NO!!!

  •  dcsfoyle's picture
    dcsfoyle
    Posted: Fri, 04/15/2016 05:41 pm

    Bush released those emails before redacting personal information (including at least one person's SSN). It may not have been an illegal act and obviously those people implicitly included their info in the public record, but It wasn't particularly smart of him. That's one of those things that seems like it will be super easy to spin: "He doesn't care about privacy!"

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