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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Is Bush Toast?

This over-the-top title, “Jeb Bush is completely toast: Donald Trump and Jake Tapper just ended all White House dreams” is actually supported by a fairly persuasive argument by Salon.com’s Amanda Marcotte. An excerpt:

…The blunt fact of the matter is that Clinton was Secretary of State when Osama Bin Laden was killed, and George Bush was president when Osama Bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans. Is Jeb Bush betting that Clinton is somehow too good to run campaign ads contrasting the picture of her in the situation room while American troops killed Bin Laden with pictures of his brother reading My Pet Goat while 3,000 Americans lost their lives to Bin Laden? She might be. Outside groups that are supporting her might not be. Either way, that’s not a bet I’d take, especially if Republicans keep flinging the word “Benghazi” around to express their belief that Democrats–and women–are incapable of keeping us safe.
Bush has clearly come up with his talking point to evade this issue, which he trotted out on CNN. “Does anybody actually blame my brother for the attacks on 9/11?” he asked, clearly hoping you’d think anyone who brings this up is basically a 9/11 Truther. The problem, for him, is there is a huge gulf between blaming George Bush for what happened and pointing out, accurately, that he didn’t keep us safe. The problem is that Jeb Bush keeps conflating the two.
…Bush’s answer to this problem, to try to make 9/11 about the aftermath, isn’t going to help him much. That’s because the aftermath was the failed Iraq War, which had nothing to do with 9/11. Imagine what Clinton could do with that. If Bush runs, expect her to repeatedly remind people that George Bush was too busy starting irrelevant wars to deal with Bin Laden, but that the Obama administration, with her as Secretary of State, actually got the guy who did this.

‘Never say never,’ as the saying goes, and there are no guarantees that crazy can’t happen in any election. But if Bush can somehow win the presidency after all of this, it will likely require the least attentive electoral majority in U.S. history.

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