On Sunday, Tampa Bay Times Washington Bureau Chief Alex Leary reported that former Florida governor Jeb Bush called to congratulate President-Elect Donald Trump:
They had a very productive call and Gov. Bush was extremely gracious congratulating Mr. Trump on his victory and wishing him well as our next president,” Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters in New York on Sunday morning.
Not long after Trump wrote on Twitter: “Jeb Bush, George W and George H.W. all called to express their best wishes on the win. Very nice!”
Bush, whom Trump relentlessly attacked as “low energy,” said he could not vote for Trump but made clear he did not support Hillary Clinton.
“Governor Bush reached out and called the President-elect on Friday to congratulate him on his victory and wish him well in the coming weeks and months,” spokesowman Kristy Campbell said in an email.
Contrary to media reports, Trump’s transition team has hit the ground running and he likely wanted Bush’s suggestions on an Education Secretary. Not wanting to fire a blank, Bush would only have suggested someone Trump would have found acceptable. Was it long-time Bush ally Betsy Devos? This from Brian McVicar for Michigan for MLive:
Betsy DeVos, a prominent school choice advocate and GOP supporter, is under consideration by president-elect Donald Trump to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, according to news reports.
Greg McNeilly, a family spokesman, declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.
DeVos, whose husband Dick unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2006, is a renowned advocate — both in Michigan and nationally — for school choice and charter schools. She serves on the board of the Michigan-based Great Lakes Education Project and the Washington D.C.-based American Federation for Children — each of which works to expand educational options for children.
Trump, for his part, pushed for greater school choice on the campaign trail, including a proposal to pump $20 billion into expanding options for low-income students.
One wonders if a DeVos pick is probable. New York City based Lisa Nielsen writes that among things we will see less of in a Trump presidency are Common Core Standards and standardized testing – both Bush initiatives. The rest of the Trump plans Nielsen reveals would be cheered by Bush’s educrats, and they have been realizing that among many republican legislators, the writing is on the wall for Core and high-stakes testing.
DeVos would be a much easier sell in the Senate to republicans and democrats alike than the extremely controversial Michelle Rhee and Eva Mescovitz, both of whom would receive rough treatment by Democrat senators. And DeVos would be a far better steward for another Trump desire which is to shudder the Federal Department of Education.