Skip to comments.Think 'Jeb,' then vote for me
Posted on 08/30/2006 5:01:16 AM PDT by summer
TALLAHASSEE - He's a fixture on political TV ads, Web sites and glossy mailers, but he's not running for office.
Jeb Bush is far and away the most heavily-promoted politician on the campaign trail in Florida in 2006 as candidates scramble for a place in the shadow of the popular governor.
Bush isn't asking for your vote, because he can't seek re-election. But his consistently high approval ratings make him the gold standard for Republican candidates eager to solidify their conservative credentials.
In the Republican primary race for governor, Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher have used the words "Jeb Bush" more than almost any other in the past year:
During an hourlong televised debate from West Palm Beach on Monday night, Gallagher spoke the words "Jeb Bush" 13 times, and Crist 10 times.
Crist, who sometimes refers to himself in the third person, said Bush's name more than his own.
He called himself a "Jeb Bush Republican," and he reminded viewers that Gallagher once "ran against Jeb Bush."
Gallagher promised to keep Florida on "the path that Jeb Bush has taken us." He quoted Bush as saying that the class size amendment, which Crist supports, will "raise your taxes."
Both men have spent millions of dollars on TV spots that make liberal use of Bush's face and record to cement their own conservative credentials.
Gallagher's latest campaign mailing uses a road sign to depict Florida at the crossroads of "Jeb Bush Blvd." and "Liberal Lane," with Gallagher on "the same conservative path" as Bush and Crist as the "liberal lawyer who has never owned his own home."
Gallagher's latest TV ad shows a Gallagher bumper sticker being placed on a car next to a red-and-white "Jeb!" sticker. The announcer says: "Sorry, Charlie. Only Jeb Bush conservatives get to be governor."
Rep. Kim Berfield of Clearwater, a candidate for a Tampa Bay state Senate seat, has run a TV ad in which she calls herself "a Jeb Bush conservative."
Her opponent, Rep. Frank Farkas of St. Petersburg, uses a picture of Bush smiling at him from a Capitol bill-signing ceremony.
A campaign mailing by Senate President Tom Lee, a candidate for chief financial officer, is nothing but Bush's endorsement of the suburban Tampa home builder.
Lee's GOP primary opponent for CFO, Rep. Randy Johnson, R-Celebration, tried to neutralize Bush's impact by showcasing a quote from a letter Bush sent Johnson two years ago.
"Your constituents and the state of Florida will be served well with your continued public service," Bush wrote to Johnson. That endorsement was for Johnson when he was planning a campaign for a state Senate seat in 2004.
All told, the mailings, TV commercials and web site exposure amount to a mountain of glowing publicity for a term-limited governor who will leave office in January.
"Its getting a little embarrassing," Bush said Tuesday. "I think there ought to be a little more focus on what the future looks like, and how elected officials can shape that future. But I'm relatively sure that after Tuesday that will start to take shape, so I'm tolerating a lot of this."
For Republican candidates, tying one's fortunes to Jeb Bush is about the safest move one can make.
A poll conducted earlier this month for the St. Petersburg Times said 56 percent of voters rated Bush's performance as governor as excellent or good, compared to 34 percent for his brother, President Bush....
Thanks for the ping, Miss summer.
Hard act to follow ;)
When you think Jeb, you must also remember Terri.
Everyone hop on the Jeb Bus!
Just remember, Charlie is not on board.
I hate to see Jeb go.....this state is going to go down the tubes. I will vote for Gallagher though, because Crist is a lying two faced RINO.
Charlie Crist is far from a conservative. He is more like a moderate dem. Hopefully the people of Florida will see this by next tuesday.
Which is why I am voting for Crist.
Their tv commercials -- both GOP candidates -- are really getting to much with all the attacks on each other. I will be glad when this primary is over.
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