Jeb Bush’s withdrawal from the Presidential race was not unexpected, however, the media commentary since Saturday has been some of the most positive coverage he has received in the past six months. It seems the media now perceives Bush’s departure as the end of an era or the fall of the “Republican establishment”. This may be because they have not yet bought into the looming reality of a Trump candidacy.
But voters, while not choosing Bush as their Presidential nominee, do respect Bush and believe that he could serve as a qualified member of a new Republican administration. In recent research completed by Spectrem Group, a highly regarded research firm, it was found that 11 percent of more than 500 potential Republican and Independent voters felt that Bush should be considered as Secretary of State. Carly Fiorina followed Bush closely at 10 percent….but none of the voters chose Donald Trump as a potential Secretary of State. Not surprising based upon Trumps numerous…sometimes politically incorrect outbursts.
Bush scores highly for multiple other Cabinet posts. Eight percent of voters chose Bush as a viable Secretary of Defense. Six percent felt he could be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Five percent chose Bush as the Secretary of Energy, 4 percent as Secretary of Education and 5 percent identified Bush as a potential Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs. In fact, voters identify Bush as a potential Cabinet member in more categories than any of the other potential Presidential candidates tested.
Where did Trump score highly? Sixteen percent of voters believe Trump, if not chosen as President, is the most qualified to be the Secretary of Commerce at 16 percent or the Secretary of the Treasury at 12 percent. Carly Fiorina was the second most popular candidate for both of those Cabinets posts at 8 percent and 12 percent respectively.
The remorse shown by the media at Bush’s departure seems somewhat sincere in an election cycle that is so unlike previous years. Neither the media nor the Republican Party seems to know how to respond – or control- the spectacle that is covered 24/7 on the cable news. The Republicans seem now focused on destroying each other rather than uniting and providing real solutions for the American voters.
The likelihood of a Presidential nominee named Trump indicating that he would include Jeb Bush in his Cabinet seems unlikely. After withstanding Trump’s continual bashing and related insults for the past six months, it would be improbable that Bush would accept such a nomination. But what if Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or John Kasich was to campaign with the promise of a Jeb Bush as part of his Cabinet? What if the candidate included other popular candidates as part of their Cabinet…..Carly Fiorina? Lindsey Graham? Mike Huckabee? Many of these former candidates are considered very knowledgeable regarding specific candidates. They have shown leadership throughout their successful careers. Could a candidate differentiate himself from the pack by running with a message of unity rather than trashing his Republican competitors?
The concept of a “slate” of candidates was tested with potential voters and 67 percent of voters liked the concept. Seventy one percent of voters under the age of 35 liked the concept of a Republican Dream Team. Voters felt that this was similar to how a company was run and would make government more efficient than the current model of appointing supporters who may or may not be qualified for a job.
Jeb Bush is an honorable effective smart man. He could be effective in many roles in the Cabinet of a 2016 Presidential winner. Let’s hope that the Republican candidates and the Party establishment can figure out how to proceed “honorably” in the months prior to the national election. Could a Dream Team be the answer?
The Republican Dream Team of 2016
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