Each is qualified. Each has a philosophy you can agree or disagree with. Each has personal experience with the job and its trials, tribulations, ceremony and responsibly. Each is qualified.
Fact is, I think a Jeb vs. Hillary race would be a substantive and solid choice for the country. She’s experienced and smart. He’s the same and, for these times, a different kind of Republican who thinks the party needs to lose the primary to win the election. True. A difficult high-wire act, but one I hope he can accomplish.
An old political boss of mine, the late Lee Atwater, used to say that to be successful in presidential politics you have to “go around the track at least once,” meaning run at least once before you’re really prepared for the race and the office. Mrs. Clinton certainly has been around the track, in her own right and by being the spouse of a former president. And, in his own way, so has Jeb Bush – having watched a father and brother do it successfully. Maybe it’s even more helpful to watch a relative go through the process because you feel the pains maybe more so than the person on the firing line.
And, not to put down the literally dozens of others considering running, Hillary and Jeb are the cream of the crop, in my view.
Thus, I do not subscribe to the theory, with apologies to Barbara Bush, that we’ve had enough Clintons and Bushes. We may have many others in this country who could be president, but we shouldn’t exclude qualified folks for any reason – race, religion, gender, sexual preference or familial connections. Would we have sacrificed Dom DiMaggio because his brother Joe was already in baseball? (Okay, not the best analogy, but you get my point)
It seems the Democratic nomination is Hillary’s for the announcing. With Jeb, not as easy especially since he would go into the race already having told the party’s most vocal demographic – right wingers – that a candidate can’t go so far right in the primaries that a U-turn in the general isn’t physically possible. But he has the guts to say it, another reason to support him -- he'll take on the elephant in the room.
In my view they are the two best candidates out there and another Bush-Clinton race would be an education to watch. I think they both could rise above the type of politics we’ve seen in recent years and return us to a more substantive discussion of issues and approaches to solutions than we’ve seen in a long time. The two families – through ex-President Bill and ex-President George H.W. – have become close, too, another interesting dynamic to a potential race.
In my fantasy, the country wins either way. Adult leadership for a change. A choice that would be easy for some and difficult for others, but good either way.