Tag Archives: Jeb Bush

The WH shakeup has begun

Mike Dubke is out as White House communications director.

Sean Spicer won’t be meeting face to face as often with the White House media as press secretary.

A fiery former Donald J. Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, might be returning to the inner circle, which reportedly might trigger more departures from the White House.

And all the while, the president of the United States insists that the White House is running like a “fine-tuned machine.” All cylinders are firing as they should. The president hit a “home run,” he said, on his first foreign trip.

I’ll stick with what former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — and one-time GOP presidential rival — said about Trump.

He ran as a “chaos candidate” and is governing as a “chaos president.”

What? Is it now ‘Low Energy’ Donald?

I know I didn’t dream this, but didn’t Donald J. Trump once accuse Republican rival Jeb Bush of being “low energy Jeb” and didn’t he say that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton lacked the “stamina” be president of the United States?

So … what happened to the president in Saudi Arabia? He blurted out the term “Islamic extremism” when he meant to say “Islamist extremism.” Muslims understand the difference between “Islamic” and “Islamist.” The former term often is used to lump all Muslims in with the monsters who terrorize innocent people.

The president’s staff blamed the slip on “exhaustion.” Trump was pretty darn tired, they said. He didn’t mean what he said, supposedly.


This is not that big of a deal. It does, however, point out the danger of the kind of rhetoric that poured out of a presidential candidate’s mouth and it brings into sharp relief his performance while holding the office he fought so hard to obtain.

I won’t stoop to calling the president any of the names he hung on so many of his political rivals.

I just thought I would remind everyone of what he said about others and how they might feel now that he’s sitting squarely in the hot seat.

Just think, too: He did this at the beginning of his first overseas venture as president. I mean, c’mon! He had all the time in the world to rest up and get ready for it.

Jeb Bush says ‘I told you so’

Dear Jeb,

OK. You win. Sort of.

You’re saying you warned us about Donald J. Trump becoming a “chaos president.” Now you’re crowing a little bit too loudly about the prediction that has come true.

Let me admonish you, though, on a key point: You were far from being the only observer to make such an observation.

Granted, many of us didn’t precisely use the term “chaos president,” as you claim to have done. A lot of pols around the country — especially some Republicans just like yourself — used some quite harsh language to describe the fellow who won the election this past year.

Mitt Romney warned of electing a “phony” and a “fraud”; Rick Perry called Trump a “cancer on conservatism”; Ted Cruz, another Texan, described Trump as “amoral.” There were others, but you get the point.

A lot of us out here in Flyover Country referred to Trump’s unfitness for the office. The implication, although not stated explicitly, was that his absolute ignorance about public policy, politics, public service and government would lead to the kind of chaos that has erupted in just the first 100-some days of his presidency.

It’s all coming to pass.

Will it doom this guy? Will it result in impeachment and conviction in the Senate? Will it force him to quit before the House impeaches him?

I am not going to bet the farm on any of it. He should have been toast while running for office when he said Sen. John McCain wasn’t a real “war hero,” or when he mocked that New York Times reporter’s disability, or when he acknowledged grabbing women by their private parts, or when he disparaged the Gold Star couple who spoke against him at the Democratic National Convention.

Jeb, he not only withstood all of that tempest, he parlayed it in some perverse fashion to shore up his standing among your party’s “base.”

Yep, he’s the “chaos president,” just as you said it would be.

Make no mistake, Jeb. I detest the guy as much as you do. Maybe more. It is appalling in the extreme that he managed to win the election.

I now plan to wait for the special counsel to do his job. We’ll get to hear from James Comey shortly when the former FBI director tells the Senate Intelligence Committee what it needs to hear.

And we’ll all get to watch as the chaos continues — and you’ll get to gloat some more.

George W. Bush gets back into the game

Welcome back to the political arena, Mr. President … even if you remain on the edges of it.

George W. Bush, who maintained stone-cold silence during Barack Obama’s presidency, has now decided to weigh in on some of the issues dogging the current occupant of the White House.

He is being a gentleman about it, but one cannot help but believe that his genteel approach to criticism masks an attitude with a bit more bite.

NBC’s “Today” host Matt Lauer interviewed the 43rd president this morning. Bush made quite clear that he disagrees with Donald J. Trump’s view that the media are “the enemy of the people” and that the war against terrorists isn’t a war against Islam.

The former president had made a pact that he wouldn’t criticize President Obama. He said the job of being president is difficult enough without former presidents weighing in with their own view of how to run the country. If Obama wanted his help, Bush said he could pick up the phone, call and ask for it.

As National Public Radio reported: “Lauer noted that President Bush — who took the country to war in Iraq and who presided over an economic crisis — faced plenty of criticism from the media while in office. Lauer asked Bush, ‘Did you ever consider the media to be the enemy of the American people?’

“Bush chuckled and then answered: ‘I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.'”

As for Trump’s assertion that the enemy are “radical Islamic terrorists,” Bush said: “You see, I understood right off the bat, Matt, that this is an ideological conflict, and people who murder the innocent are not religious people. They want to advance an ideology, and we have faced those kinds of ideologues in the past.”

I cannot get past the personal aspect of what the former president might think of the current president. It was Trump, you’ll recall, who called the Iraq War a “disaster.” He also launched intensely personal insults at the ex-president’s brother, Jeb, who was one of 15 Republican Party primary opponents that Trump vanquished on his way to the GOP nomination.

Bush didn’t attend the GOP convention; neither did Jeb, nor did the men’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.

Blood, as they say, is thicker than, well, almost any other substance.

No one should expect George W. Bush to throttle up his return to politics into a full-time endeavor. Still, I happen to one who welcomes his world view while the current president struggles to get past serious questions about national security and whether the Russians helped him get elected.

Sessions invokes Reagan … while crowing about Trump


Jeff Sessions is arguably Donald J. Trump’s best friend in the U.S. Senate.

The Alabama Republican was on board early in Trump’s campaign for the presidency. Now he is upset that members of a big-time GOP family have turned their backs on Trump, the party’s presidential nominee.

Here’s the best part, though, of Sessions’ rant against former Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

He said, according to columnist Byron York: ” … millions of Americans, including this one, worked their hearts out for the Bushes in 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004. And it wasn’t Bill Clinton that helped the Bushes get elected. It was the same voters, in large part, that elected Ronald Reagan and stand to elect Donald Trump.”

I am amused that Sessions would invoke Reagan’s name, suggesting that today’s Trumpkins mirror those who backed the Gipper all those years ago.

There’s another part of that calculation that needs a bit of scrutiny.

I cannot prove this, but my strong belief is that President Reagan would be aghast at Donald Trump’s ascent to the pinnacle of GOP power.

If only the president were alive today to weigh in.


The former presidents Bush and Jeb Bush haven’t forgotten a thing. They are dedicated Republicans who have seen their party hijacked by a con man/entertainer/hustler/narcissist.

They, too, were loyal Reaganites. Indeed, George H.W. Bush was so loyal to the president that he tossed aside his long-standing pro-choice view on abortion to become a pro-life vice president during the Reagan administration.

Is Trump the true-blue conservative who would have earned the Gipper’s endorsement? Hardly.

He is an ignorant imposter seeking high public office for reasons that remain a mystery. He wants to “make America great again”? He has insulted the very people who continue to maintain America’s greatness in the world.

I refer, of course, to the men and women in uniform who fight every day to protect us.

Ronald Reagan would have nothing to do with this charlatan.

George P. breaks ranks with Dad, Uncle W. and Poppy


Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has swilled the Donald J. Trump Kool-Aid.

He says it’s time to support the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

Well, I never …


George P. hasn’t exactly “endorsed” Trump, who performed a major hatchet job on the young land commissioner’s father, Jeb Bush, during the GOP primary. Trump’s campaign so angered others in the iconic political family that the Bushes’ two former presidents — George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — stayed away from the Republican convention in Cleveland.

So did Jeb, of course.

According to the Texas Tribune: “From Team Bush, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton,” Bush said, according to video of the remarks provided by an audience member.

There you have it. The goal is to “stop Hillary Clinton,” the Democratic nominee. No matter what. Regardless of how Trump trashed P.’s own father, how he said Uncle W. deceived the nation and lied us into war in Iraq.

Politics at times produces the strangest alliances imaginable.

This appears to be one of them.

Ready for a ‘first-name president’?


Am I hearing things?

Whenever I watch TV news/opinion talk shows, I keep hearing people — political experts, strategists and rank-and-file voters — referring to the Democratic Party presidential nominee by her first name.

She’s just plain “Hillary.”

Hillary’s got to do this or that. Hillary suffers from this “trust” deficit. Hillary’s standing in the polls is going up.

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary

I don’t yet know about the psychology of this first-name reference. Hillary Clinton is a serious person. By my way of thinking, she’s far more serious than her Republican presidential nominee opponent, Donald J. Trump.

I’ve tried throughout my commentary on this political campaign to reference the Democratic nominee the same way media refer to every other politician or public figure: first and last name in the initial reference; last name in subsequent references.

I’ll admit, though, to fall off the traditional method wagon. I’ve taken to referring to other politicians by their first names. They are Mitt (Romney), Newt (Gingrich) and Jeb (Bush).

I mean no disrespect to any of them. I actually rather like Mitt and Jeb. Newt? Not so much.

I get a strange sense, though, that the use of Hillary Clinton’s first name only is more a symptom of disrespect than affection. I hear it from disgruntled voters who are likely to vote for Trump. I hear it also from conservative media talking heads who certainly are no fans of the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

As for the office these two people are seeking — the presidency — I also have taken up the custom of using the term “President” while referring to those who have held the office. I use that reference out of respect for the office.

My hope is that the media and others will treat Hillary Clinton with the same respect accorded those who have preceded her in that high office.

Now … as for Donald J. Trump, I’ll admit to anticipating a serious struggle if somehow he manages to become the next president of the United States.

Paging Dick Cheney … hello?

Vice President Dick Cheney, speaks at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Thursday, April 10, 2008, in Washington. Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Is it me or does anyone else wonder what’s become of Dick Cheney?

The former vice president — from 2001 to 2009 — has been so very quick since leaving office to jump back into the political fray. He’s been critical of President Obama’s foreign policy, of Vice President Joe Biden, and oh yes, of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Well, the Republicans have their nominee. Donald J. Trump — who appears to be a classic Republican In Name Only — is now doing political battle with Democratic nominee Clinton.

But wait a sec, man? Cheney’s been nowhere.

I think I might have a clue. It’s because two of his former bosses, President George W. Bush and President George H.W. Bush — whom Cheney served as defense secretary — can’t stomach Trump’s candidacy. They despise the man for the way he’s run for the presidency, not to mention for the way he brutalized John Ellis “Jeb” Bush — W’s brother and Poppy’s son — during the 2016 GOP primary.

Whatever, the Bush family’s loathing of Trump seems to have silenced a loyal Bush guy.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I don’t necessarily want to hear from the former vice president. It’s not that I find his political world view all that appealing.

I guess I’m just miffed that Dick Cheney’s silence had robbed me of some material on which to respond.

Now a Gold Star Mother draws Trump’s fire


Donald J. Trump has criticized a U.S. senator’s heroic war record.

He’s mocked a reporter with a serious physical handicap.

He has ridiculed women as “pigs,” said Mexican immigrants are rapists, drug dealers and murderers.

Now he’s gone after a Gold Star Mother and her husband whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan. And, oh by the way, the family in question is a Muslim family.

Khazir Khan delivered remarks the other evening at the Democratic National Convention in which he said Trump had sacrificed nothing. Khan and his wife, Ghazala, sacrificed their son, a U.S. Army captain who died when a bomb exploded in 2004.

How did Trump respond to this criticism? He said he’s “sacrificed a lot” by building structures and employing “tens of thousands” of people. Then the GOP presidential nominee decided to take on Ghazala Khan, who didn’t speak at the DNC, leaving that task to her husband.

Trump said Mrs. Khan likely wasn’t allowed to speak, continuing his harangue against Muslim tradition that puts men at the forefront while keeping women in the background.


Well, suffice to say the criticism has come from leaders in both political parties. Jeb Bush’s former communications director called Trump’s remarks “inhuman.” Hillary Clinton’s campaign boss John Podesta asked, “Is there nothing sacred?”

Nothing is off limits to Trump. Nothing at all.

The most stunning aspect of Trump’s response was his equating his construction projects to the sacrifice borne by the parents of young American heroes who give their full measure of devotion.

This individual is simply un-bleeping-believable.

Get ready for record low turnout … possibly


John Ellis Bush likely spoke for a lot of Americans over the weekend.

He doesn’t like Donald J. Trump and he won’t vote for him for president. Nor does he trust Hillary Rodham Clinton, so she won’t get his vote, either.

Bush — aka “Jeb” — is quite likely going to leave the top of his ballot blank when the time comes for him to vote.

He said it “breaks my heart” that he cannot support the Republican Party nominee, Trump. But he and the presumptive GOP nominee have some history that Bush cannot set aside.

Bush told MSBNC’s Nicolle Wallace — a former communications director for President George W.  Bush — that Trump has conducted what amounts to a successful mutiny of the Republican Party. He praises the real estate mogul/TV celebrity for winning the party nomination fair and square. Trump, though, did it by tapping into a voter sentiment that none of the other GOP candidates — including Jeb Bush — could locate.

This makes me think my earlier prediction of a potentially record-low-turnout election might not be too far off the mark.

The current record belongs to the 1996 contest that saw President Bill Clinton re-elected over Bob Dole and Ross Perot with just a 49 percent turnout of eligible voters.

Now we have polling data that tell us Hillary Clinton and Trump are profoundly disliked by most voters. FBI Director James Comey’s stunning critique of Clinton’s handling of classified information on her personal e-mail server has only heightened voters’ mistrust of her … and to think that the director then said he wouldn’t recommend criminal charges be brought against her!

As for Trump, well, I won’t weigh in here. You know how much I despise that guy.

Jeb Bush won’t attend the GOP convention. Neither will his brother and father — two former presidents. Nor will Mitt Romney or John McCain, the party’s two most recent presidential nominee.

Oh, and the governor of the state where the convention will take place? Ohio Gov. John Kasich, another former Republican presidential candidate, won’t darken the door at the Cleveland arena where delegates are going to nominate Donald Trump.

Let’s face the daunting reality that a lot of Americans just might follow Jeb’s lead and stay home.