Well, today’s the day. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to finally announce that he is running for president. After months of mounting a not-very-shadow campaign and raising money (almost $100 million since January for his super-PAC Right to Rise), his official leap into the crowded Republican field is no surprise. As the third Bush to run for president in 35 years, he is already considered the top choice for the GOP establishment.
But the GOP establishment no longer rules the party as it once did, so the road to the nomination, much less to the White House, is filled with land mines for Bush. Tea partiers and the Christian right are powerful Bush antagonists. Before he made his candidacy official, a tea party-aligned group called Constitutional Rights PAC started promoting the website EndJeb2016.com, which accuses Bush of being “anything but a ‘conservative.'”
And there is the baggage that comes with being a Bush. His campaign hardly presents the forward-looking image that some of the other Republican candidates claim they can offer. “If Republicans are going to win the election in the fall of 2016, we need a new fresh face, big bold ideas from outside of Washington, and someone who’s got the proven track record,” GOP presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told the Tampa Bay Times.
After decades as a public figure, Bush has earned much media attention. Here’s a roundup of Mother Jones’ recent coverage, some of which examines scandals and controversies of decades past:
- There are 23 reasons why Bush should reconsider running for president.
- Education reform is how Bush tried to make his mark as governor, so what was up with his support for online education? Was it a stealth attack on teachers’ unions? An effort to divert public money to private corporations? Or did he simply know he’d one day run for president?
- Bush is one of the only GOP candidates who backs the controversial Common Core. Here’s how that can hurt his run to the White House.
- Watch Jeb Bush defend a campaign ad that exploited the murder of a 10-year-old girl.
- Earlier this year, Bush released all of his emails. Why are so many major controversies of his governorship missing?
- Early in this campaign, Team Bush was pledged help by a DC fixer who assisted banks that screwed US taxpayers to the tune of $150 billion.
- Once upon a time, Jeb the governor tried to save Jeb the manatee. (We couldn’t make this up.)