Jeb "I Am My Own Man" Bush, declared today that he would shape his own foreign policy when he gave a speech in Chicago today. However, I'm not sure hiring almost everyone one of his father and brother's advisors is going to help him very much since they all have blood on their hands after the Iraq war debacle.
The latest Bush to consider a bid for the White House promised that his foreign policy would be shaped by “my own thinking and my own experiences.”
But nearly all of the 21 names his campaign-in-waiting announced as supporters and advisers served in high-level positions in the administrations of his father, the 41st president, and his brother, the 43rd.
They represent the full spectrum of views within the Republican foreign policy establishment — from relative moderates, including former secretaries of state George Shultz and James Baker, to staunch neoconservatives such as Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz.
Philip Bump has a great graph that pretty much explains everything you need to know about Jeb's foreign policy independence.
If Bush's goal is to present himself as his "own man," that list of advisers undermines the point somewhat: 19 of the 21 people on it worked in the administrations of his father or brother. We've identified the roles each played in the past three Republican administrations, divvying them up as needed in the following Venn diagram.
And he also revives the Bush family credo of "take them out" for his unveiling:
He flubbed the number of ISIS fighters, saying in his speech that it was more than 200,000. (A Bush spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that he “misspoke” and “meant more than 20,000”). The CIA estimated in September that the real number of ISIS fighters is between 20,000 and 31,500. On ISIS in general, Bush had no real policy proposals, saying simply that the U.S. needs to “take them out.”
“It’s violent extreme Islamic terrorism,” Bush said “The more we try to ignore that reality the less likely it is that we’ll develop appropriate strategy to garner the support of the Muslim world, to like I said, tighten the noose and take them out.”
Say, does everyone remember W's famous quote from the 2000 primary debates? Sure you do