Winning Progressive Message & Strategy

The Website and Blog for Schmeltzer PR

Jeb Bush’s Ted Kennedy Moment

Leave a comment

Does Jeb Bush really want to be President?  We don’t know.  We can’t get inside of his head. Does it seem like Jeb Bush wants to be President?  Absolutely not.

For years, people have talked about the Bushes as the Republican Kennedys.  With Jeb’s answer, on Iraq, to FOX News, he may have just become the Bush’s Teddy.

In his answer to Megyn Kelly’s question, “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion [of Iraq]?” Bush answered a resounding yes.  Stunned at the backlash against that answer, from even conservative commentators, Bush quickly backtracked in a quickly scheduled second interview, with Sean Hannity, saying he “misinterpreted the question” and that “I don’t know what that decision would have been.”


The one question that he should have been prepared to answer, and he wasn’t prepared.  Given a second chance, and he still wasn’t prepared to answer it.  And he still isn’t sure how to answer it.

In 1980, the third Kennedy to run for President very much mirrored the third Bush to run for President.

In an infamous interview with Roger Mudd, Teddy Kennedy gave a long, meandering answer to the simple question, “Why do you want to be President?”

It has been called “The Day the Presidency Was Lost” for Teddy Kennedy.  Maybe Senator Kennedy really did want to be President. But his lack of preparedness to answer such an obvious question led most people to believe that he just felt he had to run because he was a Kennedy.

Everyone knew the one question Jeb Bush would get:  Does he still think it was right to invade Iraq?  He has had months, if not years, to get that answer ready.  That he’s in the middle of a multi-day flailing over it reinforces the notion that, like Teddy, Jeb Bush doesn’t really want to be President, but feels like it is his family responsibility.  Otherwise, he’d have taken at least a nominal interest in being prepared to answer that question.

The Roger Mudd interview effectively ended the hope of Teddy Kennedy entering the Oval Office, as President Kennedy.  The FOX News interview may have effectively ended the hopes of Jeb Bush entering the Oval Office as President Bush.

Update:  Third time isn’t a charm.  Now, Jeb Bush is saying he won’t answer, because it is a “disservice to the troops.”  Three strikes and….?

Author: Eric Schmeltzer

That progressive guy. Very different from that Progressive Girl (aka "Flo"). Also an independent PR consultant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s