I’m THIS close to making that big announcement
If you follow true politics (not the acolyte marketing paraphernalia from whatever media source you follow), you know that immigration reform will be a central part of any serious debate prior to taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
And already, you can quote each party’s talking points:
- Democrats — “Show them amnesty. They are here. They contribute. They are people. They have earned a right to be U.S. citizens.”
- Republicans — “Show them … no mercy. They take U.S. jobs, don’t pay U.S. taxes, don’t speak English, and should not have a U.S. address.”
So, when Jeb Bush spoke up in favor of immigrants over the weekend, the PR campaign for 2016 began in full.
The arguable front runner for the GOP nod, at least according to the most recent CNN/ORC survey, is Jeb Bush. He leads the pack of hopefuls by 23%, followed by Gov. Chris Christie at 13%, Dr. Ben Carson at 7%, and Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Mike Huckabee tied at 6%.
Another reason why he may be a favorite, outside of his legacy and surname, is his wife Columba Bush, who was born in Mexico and learned English as a second language.
She may have been on his mind during a recent cavalcade of presidential hopefuls and party speakers hosted by western Iowa congressman Steve King. From the event:
“We’re not going to win votes…unless we can lay out a hopeful, optimistic message…Hope and a positive agenda wins out over an angry reaction every day of the week. And the message should be about what the future looks like, not some nostalgic view back.”
So, he’s thinking about votes and speaking on behalf of the party — two things most people eyeballing the Resolute Desk happen to do. Then he broke out some of Centrist Talking Points’ Greatest Hits:
“Our national identity is not based on race or some kind of exclusionary belief. Historically, the unwritten contract has been: Come legally to this country, embrace our values, learn English, work, and you can be as American as anybody else. Immigrants are an engine of economic vitality.”
That’s right: Hit it directly down the middle and get everyone’s attention.
Realizing he was possibly veering too far left, Bush then took a right turn in noting that the U.S. should find the 40 percent of the current undocumented immigrants who achieved that status by overstaying visas and “politely ask them to leave.”
You smell that, PR people? A #HAPPO listing from Gov. Bush’s office. Guess we’ll find out why soon enough.
(Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jim Watson)