It seems to me that Jeb Bush is jumping the gun just a wee bit:
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, moving closer to a possible presidential run, has resigned all of his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, including with his own education foundation, his office said late Wednesday night.I understand that he's fighting the last war -- he thinks the way to win in 2016 is not to be Richie Rich, aka Mitt Romney. But if he's doing this now, he's already thinking ahead to the general election campaign even before a single delegate has been picked in the primaries and caucuses. That seems presumptuous. What's more, he's acting as if he can erase the past. I don't think that's realistic.
He also resigned as a paid adviser to a for-profit education company that sells online courses to public university students in exchange for a share of their tuition payments.
Bush’s New Year’s Eve disclosure, coming in an e-mail from an aide to The Washingotn Post, culminated a string of moves he has made in recent days to shed business interests that have enriched him since leaving office in 2007. The aide said the resignations had been made “effective today.”
The aide said Bush was reviewing other businesses in which he is principal partner or owner, such as Jeb Bush & Associates, a consulting firm, and Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group that in 2013 set up private-equity funds investing in energy and aviation....
Yes, in order to appeal GOP primary voters, it's good for him to sever ties with any group that promotes Common Core -- though if he's still in favor of Common Core, I don't see how much good that's going to do. And it's good for him to resign from any company that profits from Obamacare, as he began to do before Christmas -- though if he formerly profited from Obamacare, I don't see how he can run away from that, short of giving up all the money he's made that's O'care related. I really don't think he's going to do that.
And if he's trying to distinguish himself from fat cat Romney, he's forgetting that, while GOP primary voters may have had plenty of problems with Romney, they liked the fact that he was a fat cat. Therefore, they'd be fine with Jeb's link to a "for-profit education company" -- they think anybody should be able to make money off just about anything. So why quit the board now? Jeb already seems to be thinking past the nomination to the election.
Although there is this:
Bush’s financial stake in Academic Partnerships, the online education firm, has been relatively small for a millionaire -- a $60,000-a-year fee and ownership of a small amount of stock, said Randy Best, the company’s founder and chief executive....But again, what's the point? Jeb can sever ties with the firm, but he can't erase the Hillary moment from the record. That was one of three conferences at which they've jointly appeared. He awarded a medal to her in 2013. He can't pretend all of this never happened.
[Best] said Bush helped preside over two conferences on the future of education hosted by the firm. Bush and former North Carolina governor Jim Hunt (D) helped draw a high-powered lineup of speakers, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential front-runner, who addressed a March meeting on global education.
And there's also this:
Likely 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush has declined an invitation to speak at a conservative summit in Iowa hosted by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa.), a sometimes controversial figure in the GOP.Yeah, even Christie, who in 2013 signed a New Jersey version of the DREAM Act. (Perry, of course, signed a similar bill in Texas and got slammed for it in the 2012 primaries.)
A Bush aide told The Hill that the former Florida governor appreciated the offer to speak at the Iowa Freedom Summit in late January but that he would not be able to attend.
The Washington Post first reported on Wednesday that Bush had declined the invitation to the summit, which will feature a host of other potential GOP presidential contenders, including Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Gov. Rick Perry (Texas), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Dr. Ben Carson.
Jeb is apparently counting on big donors and the folks running the GOP nominating process to undermine all of his competitors so he can win the nomination without kissing up to the wingnuts -- either that or he thinks that all the candidates trying to out-wingnut one another with divide up the purist vote, leaving him to scoop the rest, and thus the nomination. Maybe the latter will work (after all, polls show him in the lead for the nomination, though it's way too early for the polls to be meaningful) -- or maybe he's right to count on the sabotage of his competitors by the GOP establishment.
But to me he looks as if he's writing his convention acceptance speech way too early. And he looks as if he thinks he can erase the public record of his life if he wins the nomination. I think he's going to be disappointed.