Charlie Neibergall

The Jeb Bush Show (Anticlimatic)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waits backstage before speaking at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“The climate is changing. I don’t think the science is clear on what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you. It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it even.”

Jeb Bush

Could someone remind me again, just why did we think Jeb Bush would be the “serious” candidate?

The Washington Post account of a New Hampshire fundraiser really does make the former Florida governor sound petulant:

The issue of climate change came up as the host of the house party asked Bush to comment on a speech given Wednesday by President Obama, who said that climate change is a “serious threat” to national security.

“Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security,” Obama told Coast Guard graduates in their dress white uniforms at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, “and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act— and we need to act now.”

In response, Bush said that climate change should be just “part of, a small part of prioritization of our foreign policy.” He suggested that the United States should encourage countries that have higher carbon emissions rates to reduce them.

But, he added, “We’ve had a pretty significant decrease and we’ll continue on, not because of Barack Obama, but because of the energy revolution.” He credited hydraulic fracking, horizontal drilling and an increased use of natural gas for helping cut American carbon emissions.

Just a hint for the Most Serious Clown in the Car: Pulling it out of the ground has nothing to do with reducing the exhaust.

Kind of like the whole Underpants Gnomes thing:

Step One: Get more oil and natural gas out of the ground.

Step Two: [???]

Step Three: Reduce carbon emissions.

And that’s what we get from the (ahem!) “serious” clown.

(more…)

The Mike Huckabee Experience (Sixteen Candles Pilot Episode)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee waits backstage before speaking during the Freedom Summit Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

There will be plenty of fun stuff to cover, to be certain; Mike Huckabee has a history. For now it is enough to note that the former governor of Arkansas has entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Mike Huckabee had a pretty good record as governor. It’s too bad he can’t run on it. Better known in recent years for saying occasionally outrageous things as a commentator, Huckabee governed Arkansas for more than a decade as a pragmatist, devoting his attention to basics such as roads, schools and health care. On those issues, though, Huckabee generally took positions too liberal to suit a Republican presidential prospect in 2016—posing a conundrum for him as he plunges this week into the 2016 presidential race.

(Greenblatt)

Alan Greenblatt’s report for Politico notwithstanding―and there’s a hell of a flick of the wrist, eh?―msnbc blogger Steve Benen wonders if Mr. Huckabee stands a chance, and suggests, “by most measures, Huckabee remains a factional candidate who will struggle to compete for his party’s nomination”.

Mr. Benen’s analysis notwithstanding―what? couldn’t see that coming?―we might simply consider that the Republican (ahem!) clown car just got a headline absurdist.

Perhaps “notwithstanding” is the wrong word to abuse today. Benen reflects that Mr. Huckabee “enters the race as a credible, second-tier contender, leading much of the large GOP field”, and when we stop to consider that the professional huckster’s more clownish aspects are what lead him to this prestige, reflecting at once upon Greenblatt’s point about the former Arkansas governor’s gubernatorial record and the seemingly obvious juxtaposition of what it takes to achieve such popularity among conservatives. Mike Huckabee has another record, and that will be in its own way representative of the current conservative ethos. And, you know, zeitgeist. Just, well, right, you know, because the word goes in here somewhere. Actually, you know, Benen gives a pretty good thumbnail sketch, but still, this is what it feels like, and this is what it takes.

____________________

Image note: Detail: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee waits backstage before speaking during the Freedom Summit Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Greenblatt, Alan. “Mike Huckabee’s Love Affair With Big Government”. Politico. 4 May 2015.

Benen, Steve. “Does Mike Huckabee stand a chance?” msnbc. 5 May 2015.

The Jeb Bush Show (Lonely Own Man)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waits backstage before speaking at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It really is kind of sad. Jeb Bush’s struggle to define himself as something other than the latest edition of a political dynasty becomes one of the unsung debacles of the richest clown in the car. Or, as Steve Benen of msnbc has chronicled:

“Jeb Bush’s dubious new pitch: ‘I am my own man'” (18 February 2015)

“Jeb Bush steps on his ‘own man’ message” (24 March 2015)

“Jeb’s ‘I am my own man’ pitch takes another hit” (27 March 2015)

“Jeb throws the ‘I am my own man’ pitch out the window” (1 April 2015)

This is what it comes to:

After Jeb Bush turned to his mother, father, and brother to help raise money for his super PAC, I joked last week that the Republican might have to turn to Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Jeb’s son, for the next fundraising appeal. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it’s tough to joke about these guys.

Rachel noted on the show last night that George P. Bush did, in fact, write the latest fundraising pitch for his father’s Right to Rise PAC.

____________________

Image note:Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waits backstage before speaking at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)