Does Jon Meacham Remember the 2000 Election?

jon_meachamTime has a column this week (7/1/13) from Jon Meacham looking at (gulp) possible 2016 election scenarios. The column entertains the possibility that former Florida governor Jeb Bush might run–which Meacham seems pretty excited about. As he explains, the Bush family is something to behold:

Jeb long ago internalized and then lived out his family’s guiding precepts. Bushes move to new parts of the country; they work hard; they learn from their mistakes, particularly from failed campaigns; and they never, ever give up.

Well they sure sound like interesting people. I would be curious to hear more about what George W. Bush has learned from his “mistakes.” In 2004 he was asked at a press conference if he’d made any and couldn’t think of one. (“‘I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it,’ Bush joked before taking a long pause”– Reuters, 4/14/04.)

┬áBut it’s not just Meacham who thinks the Bushes are pretty great; that’s apparently the judgment of the American public too:

Those who think “Bush fatigue” is pre-emptively fatal to Jeb’s chances may be underestimating the American affinity for brand names. The Bushes aren’t kings; in managementspeak, they’re a line of related products that most Americans recognize and have chosen on three (1988, 2000 and 2004) of the four occasions they’ve been on offer. Will we have a chance to buy another? George W., whose approval ratings are rising as the years pass, has said he’d like his brother to try for it.

Our feeling about the Bush “brand” notwithstanding, the American people actually did not choose George W. Bush in 2000–he lost the popular vote by a little over half a million votes. The Supreme Court chose George W. Bush as president. It was kind of a big deal at the time.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.