Jeb Bush on This Week

Finishing the work of the Sunday Show roundup begun in today's Rightsided Newsletter, we come to ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. First, his talk with Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In introducing him, Steph intoned of Florida: "It's set to be the 'Florida' of 2004."

Steph went over a few polls – Bush by 4 in the ABC poll, by 2 in TIME's, by six in Newsweek's -- and declared the race dead even. As is Florida, he suggested. Governor Bush said, "I think the President is a little ahead." He suggested that turnout was important. He later added that the Hurricanes had hit "bedrock Republican areas," where voters might now have other things than politics on their minds. But he thinks the President did "really good" in the last two debates.

Steph asked him why it was so hard for the President to admit mistakes. The governor explained that every word "would be jumped on" if he did. (NOTE: A similar dynamic is a play with Kerry stubbornly refusing to admit his mistake and apologize for displaying disrespect for ("dissing") Mary Cheney.)

The governor thinks that the electorate is more divided than it was in 2000? Why? "The abject hatred for a person, my brother, is astounding." He also mentioned that the support his brother receives is "incredible."

He promised that the President would do his best to "bring people together" after the election. Kerry's strengths – Steph's question asked for a plural response – is "his Democratic base."

Steph then asked Bush if he were scared because 55,000 people "intended to vote fore Gore" than did last election. Bush said the statistic was meaningless – they could have voted if they wanted to – and is brought up by a "small group of people trying to scare people." This group would then include Steph.

Bush discounted Jimmy Carter's contention that the Florida election will be "unfair," saying that Carter gave no real reasons. Steph said that Carter had mentioned that the Florida Secretary of State was a partisan. Bush said that Carter had never even talked to his Secretary of State.

Steph asked: "How do you combat the perception that your [State's] vote will be unfair."

Bush answered: "Well, you go on George Stephanopoulos's show, I guess."

Steph wanted to know if Bush is going to run for President in 2008. Bush said he was not. He did not know what he was going to do when his term expired, as he was too busy doing his job. He did mention that he wanted to "go back to Miami."

I do think Steph approached this interview as if it were a contest, and it is very clear to me that Steph lost. Fortunately, his next interview was with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who also seemed to have his way with Steph. (This wasn't George's best week for intellectual dominance.)

More on Uncle Ed's TW appearance later, and the rest of the Sunday Show review can be found in today's Rightsided Newsletter at the RSN site: HERE.

I have a few more things I want to put up in here today, but I first have a garage to clean.



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