Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | October 06, 2002

Ok, Jeb is in REAL trouble

Conventional wisdom is that Jeb is the smartest of the Bush brothers, the one that was supposed to be presidential material. I had bought into that CW, until Jeb mistook a guy with a press ID and notepad as a state legislator. Now, thanks to his little oversight, we now have insight into the REAL Jeb Bush, not the phony baloney stuff he exhibits in public.

In his meeting with panhandle state legislators, Jeb:

  • cracked jokes about a missing girl -- implying her caregivers where lesbians.
    Bush bragged to the lawmakers he had some "juicy details" about the caregivers of Rilya Wilson, the girl who disappeared from her Miami home this year after state workers failed to check on her.

    Bush intimated that Wilson's caregivers, who were arrested Wednesday on fraud charges, were lesbians.

    "Bet you don't get that in Pensacola," Bush quipped.

  • said he had several "devious plans" to subvert a voter initiative currently on the ballot to reduce class sizes (MP3 Audio); and

  • said he would try and get the legislature to set teacher salaries, but only AFTER the election. You see, the proposal violated the Republican tenet of local control. In Florida, school boards set the salaries (MP3 Audio).
In a weak attempt at an explanation, Bush complained the meeting was supposed to be private (again, missing the dude with the press ID badge), but that actually made what he said even worse. Despite public entreaties to the contrary, Jeb pans on subverting a voter initiative (where is the NJ GOP in all of this?), plans on waiting until after the election to violate one of his party's core principles, and makes light of a missing girl's plight. In other words, he's kind of an asshole.
The Jeb Bush that most Floridians know is a friendly, perhaps a bit stodgy, fellow. With the manners of an amiable aristocrat, the governor draws from a lifetime of experience in the public eye and keeps a tight rein on his public image.

But the state got a glimpse of a different Jeb Bush this week. And the unscripted revelations of an agenda he had not publicly shared with voters could haunt him for the remaining weeks of the campaign.

McBride is already on top of this:
"I don't have any 'devious plans,' " McBride told a crowd of about 300 Democratic supporters at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orange County. At that, the crowd stood and roared with applause.

Earlier, talking to state union leaders, McBride also raised Bush's remarks and pledged, "You won't hear me saying something privately that I won't say publicly -- ever. You can trust me."

I always cringe when a politician says "trust me" -- but the point is well taken. McBride should be able to ride this one the last four weeks of this campaign.

Posted October 06, 2002 12:15 AM | Comments (3)


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