For a guy who says he hasn't decided whether or not he's going to run for president, Jeb Bush sure has thought a lot about how he'd do it. You know, if he did it. Which he's still not sure about!
Bush, who hasn't held a political office since he was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, talked to Fox News today about his long-rumored presidential run, saying he'd figure out whether or not to run by the end of this year. In the meantime, he's keeping busy by not caring about straw polls (oh, burn, CPAC) or worrying about the politics of a campaign because things could be totally different two years from now.
Instead, he wants to run a campaign with an "optimistic message" and avoid "the vortex of the mudfight."
"Can one do it joyfully, without tied to all of the convention of the politics of the here and now?" Bush wondered.
This certainly sounds nice, but then again it's not like any candidates ever say "I'm looking forward to running a wholly negative campaign that annihilates my opponent at every turn." If Bush does run, it'd be difficult to emerge from the expected Republican nomination free-for-all with his hands completely clean.
Bush noted that he's getting more attention now for being undecided about running than he would have gotten if he had made a decision -- though this wasn't intentional.
"I'm not that smart, I promise you," Bush said.
As for his possible competitors for the Republican nomination, Bush called Chris Christie the "real deal" and "a spectacular guy" but wouldn't comment on anyone else specifically.
Who doesn't he like? Candidates who are running just to "make a point" and not to actually win the election or lead the country. You can go ahead and guess who he's talking about there.
"Campaigns ought to be about listening and learning and getting better," Bush optimistically and hopefully said. "I do think we've lost our way ... Campaigns themselves are reflective of this new America."
As for his platform, Bush is still hard at work courting the Hispanic vote (just in case he runs!), saying illegal immigration is "not a felony" but "an act of love" and "a different kind of crime."
Bush also said he'd have to consider his family's feelings before he decided to run. His father, George H.W. Bush, is said to be enthusiastic about it, but his mother Barbara may not be, according to the New York Times.
The Times also noted that while Bush's audience at his father's museum was certainly a friendly one, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got a louder applause. Maybe she should run, too.