The Campaign Spot

Plus, Neil Diamond Never Wrote a Song Called ‘Sweet Jeb’

I remain a bit of a skeptic — it’s easy to picture a guy who used to running the show getting bored quickly as one of 100 voices in the Senate — but the buzz around Jeb Bush and the 2010 Florida Senate race continues to grow:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — the son of one president and the brother of another — has been working the phones since Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) announced earlier this month that he won’t seek reelection in 2010. Sources say Bush hasn’t made up his mind yet about running for Martinez’ seat yet, but that he’s getting green lights from would-be contributors and blessings from Republican Party leaders.
Strategists and political observers take it as a sign that Bush will run.
“Everything indicates that he’s in,” said David Johnson, a Republican Strategist and the CEO of Strategic Vision. “You’re not making calls and laying the ground work for fundraising unless you’re clearing the field for your candidacy.”

If he jumps in, you’ll see a lot of discussions of family political dynasties and comparisons to Caroline Kennedy, but I don’t think that association holds water. Jeb Bush has faced the voters three times. The first time he came within a percentage point of knocking off an incumbent governor. The second time he won election with more than 55 percent of the vote. The third time he won reelection with 56 percent of the vote. Love him or hate him, he campaigned for the job and engaged the voters, and they elected him and reelected him on more than memories of his father.


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