4:22 PM, Dec 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Jeb Bush is considering running for president in 2016, but he might have run in 2008 if not for the reasonable belief the country wouldn't elect brothers to the White House successively.
In 2006, Fred Barnes wrote about Jeb as America's "governor in chief"—a popular, conservative reformer who could lay claim to the title of best governor in the country. Here's an excerpt:
If only his last name were Smith. He'd not only attract national attention as the popular and successful governor of a difficult-to-govern state. He'd be viewed sympathetically as a leader who had dealt with family issues--his wife's aversion to politics, his daughter's bouts with drug addiction--without losing his grip on the governorship. And he'd be the prohibitive frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
But his last name is Bush. So Jeb Bush, nearing the end of his eight years as governor of Florida, has to settle for being the best governor in America. Not proclaimed the best governor by the media and the political community. But recognized as the best by a smaller group: governors who served with him and experts and think-tank and conservative policy wonks who regard state government as something other than a machine for taxing and spending.
Why is Jeb Bush the best? It's very simple. His record is the best. No other governor, Republican or Democrat, comes close. Donna Arduin, perhaps the most respected state budget expert in the country, has worked for four big-state Republican governors--John Engler of Michigan, George Pataki of New York, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and Bush. Even while she worked for Schwarzenegger, she told me Bush is "absolutely" the nation's premier governor. "He's principled, brilliant, willing to ignore his pollsters, and say no to his friends," she says.
Read the whole article from our archives here.
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Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. had three careers in the course of his 89 years. He was a Navy pilot. He was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for seven years and seven months. And he was a U.S. senator from Alabama.
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