The announcement that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former first lady/U.S. Sen./Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak in Dallas on the same day later this month is an intriguing development.
Both are considered possible, if not probable, candidates for president in 2016. Bush is a Republican and Clinton is a Democrat … no big flash there, right?
Bush will speak to the World Affairs Council while Clinton will speak to the National Multi Housing Council. Both speakers will be watched carefully by the media that are looking for angles to explore as to whether either person will seek the nation’s highest office in 2016.
Here, though, is the intrigue.
You would figure Bush will draw a huge following in Dallas, the third-largest city in one of the nation’s most Republican states. He was a successful governor in Florida and was considered by many to be more presidentially suitable than, say, his older brother, George W.
Clinton, though, is as a true-blue a Democrat as Bush is a Republican. She’s coming into “enemy territory,” correct? Not so fast.
I’ll now look back to early 2008, when then-Sen. Clinton was running for president. Her husband – perhaps you remember him – came to Amarillo to speak on his wife’s behalf. If Dallas is considered hostile territory for Democrats, then Amarillo is considered to be deep within the belly of the Republican beast.
How did Amarillo respond residents to an appearance by the former Democratic president, the man many Republicans loved to hate when he was in office? They packed the Grand Plaza Ballroom at the Civic Center with several thousand spectators. Many of them were Republicans who simply wanted a glimpse of the Democrats’ big man on campus.
I’m guessing Secretary Clinton will fare equally well when she makes her appearance in Big D. I’m also guessing Jeb Bush will light ‘em up there as well.
Just wait, now, for the media to compare the two political titans’ impact and what it might mean for the next race for the presidency.