Jeb Bush created shockwaves around the political world on Tuesday after announcing that he would actively explore running for president in 2016. Although it is not an official announcement of his candidacy, the former Florida governor is the biggest name so far to move towards getting in the race.
CBS News elections director Anthony Salvanto joined CBSN to discuss a potential Bush candidacy. He said the Bush has three distinct advantages and disadvantages against the rest of the potential Republican field.
Bush was the governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He can point to those eight years in office as proof of his management and leadership skills. "He's going to say "'I'm the guy who can get things done. I'm the guy who can govern,'" Salvanto said.
That could help him stand apart from other potential GOP candidates, especially those currently serving in a deeply unpopular Congress. According to Salvanto, Bush will be going after votes in the Republican base "that's going to be the part looking for pragmatism, looking for policy solutions."
George H.W. Bush first ran for president in 1976, and a member of the family has been in the national political spotlight for much of the time since. Jeb's father and brother were the past two Republican presidents, and that gives him an existing national profile.
That name recognition gives Bush an advantage with donors. As he is the first widely known Republican to make a move toward 2016, he may come out ahead early in the polls. That could draw money and attention from conservative fundraisers.
Common Core and Immigration
Bush's stance on two major national issues, Common Core education standards and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, goes against the views of most conservative Republicans. On immigration policy specifically, Salvanto said that Bush is vulnerable to backlash from the right of the party, but his stance could also play to his favor.
"There will be part of the conservative base that will not be with him on immigration policy, that will not support anything they see as amnesty," Salvanto said. "But there will also be a segment that says the GOP needs to make inroads with Hispanic voters, and needs to do something about immigration policy."
President George W. Bush was unpopular for the last few years of his time in office, including within his own party. Jeb would have to answer questions on how different or alike he is with both his brother and father.
Last on the ballot in 2002
Jeb Bush last ran for office in 2002, and since he left the Florida governor's office in 2007, he has been working in the finance and business sector. According to Salvanto, Bush could have to prove he is not too close with big business, especially since a company he works with has outsourced some jobs.
But Bush could also point to his management and executive experience as a plus in his bid for the presidency. "These are exactly the kind of splits that will define the coming year," Salvanto said.