Jonah Goldberg: Why Jeb Bush's turn may not come
It’s well known that Republicans tend to pick the candidate whose “turn” it is. Except for 1964 and 2000, the guy who came in second the last time or who in some way was perceived as next in line got the nomination. Barry Goldwater was a special case because of the rise of the conservative movement and the sense that JFK’s assassination made LBJ unbeatable.
There really wasn’t anyone next in line that year, but “Dubya” came the closest because the GOP felt his dad had been robbed in 1992 by Bill Clinton (and Ross Perot).
It should be obvious that, even among Republicans, nostalgia for George W. Bush doesn’t run nearly so high as it did for his father. This is a key difference between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush; Democrats are nostalgic for Clinton, Republicans aren’t for Bush.
For eight years as vice president, he courted the Reagan wing. Bush beat Robert Dole in 1988 by claiming to be the better Reaganite.
George the Younger had it a bit easier being a born-again Christian from Texas, but he didn’t coast on the Bush name either.
His brother and his father understood that the GOP is a conservative party, and they maneuvered accordingly. Jeb Bush doesn’t seem to care, which is why he’ll probably get the T-shirt.
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