From CBS News:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sure looks like a politician who is not running for office. In a wide-ranging interview with Charlie Rose for “CBS This Morning,” Bush offered some light praise for President Obama and said he thinks Republicans should be willing to raise revenue to get the deficit down.
The brother of the Mr. Obama’s predecessor noted that Mr. Obama had chosen the head of the Chicago public school system, Arne Duncan, as his education secretary and they had worked to focus more on school children and less on the adults running the schools.
“Any time an elected official in the world we’re in today that appears so dysfunctional challenges a core constituency not of their opponent but of their own political base, I think we should pause and give them credit,” Bush said.
The comments came after Rose pointed to comments Bush had made in April praising Duncan and saying the Obama administration had done “a pretty good job” on education policy.
That was a “pretty articulate quote. Are you sure it was mine?” Bush joked to Rose when presented with the earlier comments.
The oddities of Bush’s statement are endless. The interview with Charlie Rose wasn’t limited to education policy and understandably expanded to the presidential race. Bush’s tone wasn’t that of a possible running mate for Mitt Romney or even a surrogate for that matter. His communicative and political skill have always exceeded that of his presidential father and older brother and today’s interview was that of a politician seeking to be seen as above the fray.
But make no mistake. Bush is aware of the widening chasm between Obama and the nation’s teachers. He knows that Duncan is toxic and that praising Obama on education policy helps Romney. Bush also knows that a significant number among rank and file members of teachers unions are still outraged by the unusually quick endorsement of Obama by the NEA and AFT.
Romney’s education policy people are Bush’s people. I’ve been certain for some time that Bush was never interested in being vice president and that his support for Marco Rubio for the spot is intended to advance the already promising career of a protegé. One of my opinions has changed though. Romney’s pronouncements on education policy might as well have been made by Bush, but I never though the later would be interested in being Secretary of Education.
I do now.