This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 17, 2016:
In South Carolina, where George H.W. Bush (1988) and George W. Bush (2000) sealed the deal for their presidencies, younger son John Ellis Bush (JEB) is failing and flailing. The average of all polls published by Real Clear Politics shows Bush trailing front runners Marco Rubio by five and a half points, Ted Cruz by seven points, and Donald Trump by 25 points. In Iowa he finished sixth while in New Hampshire, after spending $36 million, he finished a dismal fourth.
What’s wrong? He has the famous Bush name. He has experience as a two-term governor of Florida. He claims a knowledge of world affairs. And yet his attacks on Rubio, according to the Wall Street Journal, as “too green” and on Trump as “too unstable” are failing to gain traction, with his polling numbers coming in at just over 10 points. And the primary is on Saturday, February 20 — just three days away.
Claims Bush: “I will be a commander-in-chief, not an aggressor-in-chief, not a blowhard-in-chief. We need a president with a steady hand.”
What voters apparently want, instead of a steady hand, is someone without so much establishment baggage. Bringing in brother George and mother Barbara isn’t helping his campaign very much, except to cement the image that he is, after all, a Bush, whose family has had a long, pervasive, and some say destructive, influence on American politics for generations.
His record as a big spender while serving two terms as Florida’s governor (from 1999 to 2007) isn’t helping either. According to the Cato Institute, under Bush’s reign, while the state’s population was growing by 16 percent, general fund spending was growing by 57 percent, while total state spending grew by 45 percent.
Revelations of the Bushes’ shady backgrounds were revealed by Kevin Phillips in his 2004 book American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush. Phillips exposed how the family, beginning with Prescott Bush, the father of Bush I (George Herbert Walker Bush) and grandfather of Bush II (George Walker Bush), has “systematically used its financial and social empire — its ‘aristocracy’ — to gain the White House, thereby subverting the very core of American democracy.”
This was followed up by additional revelations by author Russ Baker in 2009 in his Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces that Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America. Baker includes an inside account of George W. Bush’s cynical religious conversion as well as his disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans in August, 2005.
The latest revelation, Jeb! and the Bush Crime Family: The Inside Story of an American Dynasty, this one from Roger Stone (the author of The Clintons’ War on Women released last fall), could spell the death-knell for the candidacy of John Ellis Bush. Writes Stone and co-author Saint John Hunt (son of CIA agent E. Howard Hunt of Watergate infamy):
Virtually every one of Jeb’s failed business enterprises is a carried interest in which he put up no cash but used his family name and connections to secure loans, financing, waivers, or other financially significant benefits. No less than five of Bush’s former partners in these endeavors are in jail.
The details of a bank loan that went south without costing either Jeb or his partner are revealed. The bank failed and the FDIC stepped to the plate to cover $4 million of the money owed while allowing the partners to buy back the building originally financed by the loan for just $505,000.
There are the details of how Governor Bush directed $150 million of the state’s employee retirement fund to Goldman Sachs, to be run by a Bush relative, cousin George H. Walker IV. The governor directed another $250 million of that fund to the care of Lehman Brothers. When Bush left office in 2007, Lehman took care of him, hiring him for $1.3 million a year.
In his tax returns, Jeb reveals that he was paid nearly $12 million by Lehman Brothers and Barclays Bank for his work as a “senior advisor” from 2007 to 2013, plus he collected another $8.1 million in speaking fees during that time.
It appears that, to the ordinary South Carolina citizen, voter, and taxpayer, all of this smacks too much of ties to the despised establishment, and that this citizen is willing to take a chance on Trump, Cruz, or Rubio rather than more of the same with Jeb.