Matthew Continetti, writing at the Washington Free Beacon, explains why Jeb Bush has a problem in his foreign policy adviser James Baker. Baker recently spoke at a conference for the left-wing group J Street. Here's an excerpt from Continetti's column:
It was a panicked and reactive performance that could have been avoided if Bush hadn’t released a list of foreign policy advisers before settling on a foreign policy, or had demanded that Baker cancel his speech and throw the J Street conference into disarray. That would have been unlikely, considering who Bush is and what Baker means to his family. And Bush does seem to be in this tough situation because of his family, but it’s not his brother who’s the problem. On issues of national security the party remains committed to W.’s post-9/11 vision: strong on defense, internationalist, hawkish, and unabashedly pro-Israel.
It’s Baker and the other Cold War realists associated with the senior Bush who are old, tired, haggard, removed, out of it. They’re the products of a bipolar world in which the Soviet Empire was an ever-mindful presence. Members of the waning WASP elite and beholden to the zombie theory of linkage, which says the source of instability in the Greater Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Baker and company treat Israel not as an asset for the United States but a liability. For Bush to repudiate Baker or the other friends of H.W. would be a rebuke of long-lasting relationships; it would also be just the sort of act that would establish Bush’s identity as “my own man.”
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee met with about 40 conservative scholars in California Thursday in preparation for a potential presidential run in 2016. The discussion and Q&A session occurred at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and included in attendance George Shultz, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state. Huckabee later joined Lanhee Chen, a Hoover research fellow and the top policy adviser to Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, in a private, hour-long conversation.
The super PAC supporting former Texas governor Rick Perry has a new web ad focusing on the Republican's farming roots and showcasing his recent trips to Iowa. "My background is off of a dry-land cotton farm 200 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas," says Perry in the video. "I understand blue-collar, hard-working people." The agriculture-heavy state is the site of the first presidential primary election event of the cycle, the Iowa caucuses.
Governor Chris Christie has a big fan in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The New Jersey governor posted a video on the social media website from his latest town hall event. Zuckerberg "liked" the post and even commented. Check out a screenshot below:
Lynchburg, Va. Ted Cruz announced he was running for president on an empty stomach. Well, almost empty.
Cruz was signing a small American flag in a sea of fans and admirers and news cameras and members of the media when I asked him what he’d had to eat on the morning of his biggest day of his political life—so far. He paused for just the briefest of moments.
Scott Walker may not be a candidate for president yet, but the Wisconsin governor’s growing political action committee staff is already going after a potential rival in the Republican primary. GOP strategist Liz Mair, CNN reports, has just signed on to consult for Walker’s Our American Revival PAC, doing outreach to bloggers and other digital media outlets.
Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who made political waves in 2013 with a pointed critique of President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, is taking a step closer to a presidential campaign of his own. Carson announced Tuesday he is launching an exploratory committee for a run in 2016. The 63-year-old conservative Republican from Maryland has a website dedicated to the committee at bencarson.com.
By most accounts, former Florida governor Jeb Bush performed well (to some observers, “very, very” well) in his Friday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. The likely presidential candidate succeeded in defying expectations by receiving a warm reception at the right-wing confab, even as his unorthodoxies on a few important issues for conservatives were highlighted in the appearance.
Supporters of Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO and Republican Senate candidate from California, have started a new political action committee ahead of a possible Fiorina presidential run. The PAC, called Carly for America, will be separate and distinct from Fiorina's Unlocking Potential PAC, which supports conservative women candidates.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will announce in a speech in Trenton Tuesday that the New Jersey Education Association has endorsed the Republican's "roadmap" for pension reform. Christie, who made a national name for himself over his public battles with teachers unions in the Garden State, will be coming "full circle" by having the the state's largest teachers union "come to the table" to negotiate a proposal.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who is considering seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, will deliver a foreign policy address in Chicago Wednesday morning. Bush is expected to speak about his vision for how the United States can "regain its leadership in the world" and to "shape events and build alliances of free people."
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker leads an early poll of New Hampshire Republican primary voters, NH1 reports:
According to an NH1 Pulse Poll released Wednesday, Walker has the backing of 21.2% of those who say they're likely to vote in next year's GOP presidential primary. The automated survey indicates Jeb Bush in second place, with 14.4% saying they'd support the former two-term Florida governor if the Feb. 9, 2016 primary was held now.
Jeb Bush had fighting words at his Wednesday speech at the Detroit Economic Club. The former Florida governor, who is actively thinking of running for president, said he was down for a rumble—at least, if anyone tried to say a bad word about his father, George H.W. Bush.
"My dad is the greatest man alive, and if anybody disagrees, we'll go outside," Bush said with a smile. "Unless you're, like, six-five and two-fifty and much younger than me. Then we'll negotiate. I'm still not going to change my mind."