The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, July 18, 2002  

Brother Jeb Campaigning, Too. But For a Different Job.

In the New Republic, associate editor Ryan Lizza offers up an extensive account of the lengths to which President George W. Bush is going to assist the re-election effort of his brother, Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.).

The article, “How You Can Help the President Help His Brother,” would be considered devastating if it had anything to do with President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), but the Bush family’s remarkable ability to dodge even the slightest scrutiny likely means Lizza’s findings, which are thoroughly documented, will be ignored.

A few quick takes from this must-read:

“It is difficult to overestimate the importance the Bush administration places on Florida. It is the largest swing state in the country, the ground on which Bush won his contested victory in 2000, and a cornerstone of the White House’s reelection strategy in 2004. . . .

“No matter what else happens at the ballot box this fall, if Jeb loses to the eventual Democratic nominee -- either Janet Reno or Bill McBride -- it will be seen as a humiliating defeat for the president and a vote of no confidence for his administration.

“As a result, it seems that no federal grant, no business loan, no tinkering with federal policy that might give Jeb a political leg up is too small to merit White House attention. . . .

“Almost every week brings another example of federal policy being altered to Florida’s -- and specifically Jeb’s -- benefit. . . .

“One might imagine Jeb Bush would downplay the extent to which federal policy and taxpayer dollars are being driven by his electoral needs. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.”

This is how journalism is supposed to work. Where did it go? And will it ever come back?

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