Here’s my two pesetas’ worth:
I thought that Jeb Bush’s presentation at the NRI summit was simply perfect — perhaps not in every last policy detail, but certainly in general. He reminded me of what Adenauer admired in Charles de Gaulle: “So obviously upstanding, moral, and correct.” Like his father, his most immediately obvious traits are decency and intelligence–but he is by contrast surprisingly charismatic and modern. Jeb made it clear that he has little taste for the personal hostility of Washington’s political climate, but also clearly (and even pointedly) suggested that he is thinking about the possibility of higher office very seriously. In my opinion, that is a good thing. After all, another Clinton in the White House ( i.e., a good dose of national security strategy by opinion- polling) is all we need to remind people why they might like to see another Bush in the White House. And, as others have pointed out, Jeb will be younger in 2020 than McCain is now.
Another leader who has always impressed me is John Kyl–perhaps the most intellectually capable and serious of the country’s Senators–especially when it comes to foreign and defense policy. Now, that is strange, because Kyl sits neither on the Foreign Relations Committee nor on that for the Armed Services. But complex thinkers are no strangers to irony. I’m glad he won reelection, and I hope, as he ascends to the summit of Senate leadership, that he proves a shaping force in our country’s history. Kyl is a rare senator: he is philosophical, but seems just as comfortable with command responsibility. He understands his political niche, and manages it well, without losing any of the intellectual depth that others so rapidly lose when they step into the political prime time. There’s a reason why state governors make more effective presidential candidates than senators. But if there’s an exception that confirms that rule, John Kyl is it.
With any luck, these two will be around for a long time.