Jeb Bush Admires a Really Lousy President — And It’s Not His Brother

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tags: election 2016, Jeb Bush, James K Polk, Mexican American War



John Nichols is The Nation’s Washington correspondent.

Related Link Is Jeb Bush Wrong to Admire James K. Polk? By Josh Zeitz

It is no secret that Jeb Bush faces a challenge when the subject is presidents named “Bush.” Of course the former governor of Florida has regard for his father and his brother. But he has faced frequent questioning about whether he would wage wars, neglect the economy, or otherwise manage things as did Bush 41 and Bush 43.

So, as he bids to become Bush 45, Jeb talks up another president.

“One of the presidents that I really admire,” he says, “is James K. Polk.”

At a July town hall meeting in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of one president and brother of another displayed a reasonably detailed awareness of Polk, which certainly distinguishes Bush from most Americans. Bush hailed the 11th president (who served from 1845 to 1849) for a number of policy initiatives — including an approach to tariffs that the contender for the 2016 Republican presidential seems to believe was “pretty extraordinary.”

But, as on so many issues of consequence, this Bush got this ex-president question wrong.

Way wrong. ...




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