Jeb Bush keeps himself in the spotlight

Pat McMahon Contributor

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has been widely touted in recent months among conservative activists, Republican politicos, and various talking heads as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Despite insisting that he has no interest in running for the job (at least, that’s the case according to his son), Bush has done a helluva job keeping his name in the papers:

1.) Coming out against the Arizona immigration law: “I don’t think this is the proper approach,” he said. “It’s difficult for me to imagine how you’re going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well.”

2.) On Charlie Crist’s support of President Obama’s stimulus plan:  “Unforgivable”

3.) On Charlie Crist vetoing a Republican-backed education bill: “By taking this action, Governor Crist has jeopardized the ability of Florida to build on the progress of the last decade  which includes raising student achievement across the board, narrowing the achievement gap for poor and minority students, and improving graduation rates.”

4.) On Sarah Palin running for President: “I don’t know what her deal is. My belief is in 2010 and 2012 public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity. The world is really an amazing place but it is very complex, it is very fast moving. If you think you’ve got it all figured out, the minute you start thinking that is the first day of your demise.”

5.) On repealing the Democratic health-care bill: “This is a major overreach. Certainly, in the policy arena, it’s a major overreach, but it also could easily be an overreach in terms of the law. And I think people who are opposed to this passionately ought to use every resource at their disposal, both advocating repeal of it — but that’s going to take, as we know, three or four years, perhaps, and maybe too late — and also the legal avenue. I think that’s the right approach.”

If Bush were to run for office again, he is certainly taking the approach that may be the most successful. He is keeping a modest profile by remaining a private person and chiming in on issues very selectively, criticizing potential rivals (Palin and Crist), not completely closing the door on electoral politics (floating–then sinking–his candidacy for the U.S. Senate), and speaking wisely on issues that tend to polarize voters and politicos (immigration and health care). Come to think of it, maybe Americans DO miss having a Bush in the White House…..