By Brian E. Crowley
Jeb Bush has said he has no intention of voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. It is a silly and disturbing notion.
Florida’s 29 electoral votes will decide whether Trump or Clinton will go to the White House. It will be an extremely close race with a Florida victory squeezed out by the smallest of margins. Recent polls suggest a slight Trump lead or a statistical tie.
There is a very reasonable chance that Trump could win Florida and with it the White House. If you merely look at the race in the style of the soulless Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, a Trump victory is merely a win for the GOP and the name on the White House mailbox matters little as long as it belongs to a Republican.
Some Florida Republicans are repulsed by the idea of Trump leading the GOP and they have actively, if so far ineffectively, been part of the NeverTrump movement.
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush has been largely silent. He will tweet on occasion about issues that interest him. Bush took some time off to do a skit with Jimmy Kimmel for a pre-Emmy Award show. (He was very good, acting an out of work Uber driver).
Sitting on the sidelines since quitting his own presidential bid, Bush seems to be content essentially telling voters – you picked a lunatic over me, live with it.
The middle child of the Bush family needs to get over it and step up for Florida and his party. It is unconscionable that Jeb Bush would abandon the party when it needs him most. His family has been deeply involved in the GOP since his grandfather, Prescott Bush, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 1952.
If he believes, as many establishment Republicans do, that Trump would be the destruction of the GOP, how can Bush remain idle? Was his campaign for president an ego-trip or a belief that Republican Party principles are better for the future of the nation?
Late Monday night, it was reported by CNN, Politico and others that Bush’s father, former President George Bush, told former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend he plans to vote for Clinton.
The elder Bush, 92, over the years has developed a close relationship with former President Bill Clinton, the man who defeated him in 1992. Former President George W. Bush also has a close relationship with Clinton often joking that he is his “brother from another mother.”
Despite these public friendships between the Bush and Clinton families, Jeb is the moody outsider who can’t bring himself to publicly support Hillary Clinton.
Yet, perhaps the last, most notable public service Bush could perform in this election would be to endorse Hillary Clinton.
As already stated, Florida will be won by a small percentage of votes. Bush does not have the political power in the Sunshine State he once held, but in a race this close, he could have an impact. His endorsement could free others to publicly abandon Trump – perhaps even U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio who still harbors presidential ambitions.
Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post and a Bush admirer, wrote last week: