At an exclusive Manhattan meeting under the auspices of Republican mega-donor Paul Singer, Jeb Bush quoted his brother as his main adviser on Israel foreign policy.
The list of attendees to the event included over 50 names. Some of the guests have received the 2016 presidential contender’s citation with a raised eyebrow. Understandably so when during previous weeks both Jeb and George W. Bush insisted that the Bush name can be a toxic legacy to carry into the presidential election. At the same time, speaking at a Jewish donor meeting in Las Vegas, George W. Bush stated that what the American people don’t want is a dynasty.
Corroborated with US polls that still maintain overall disapproval rates towards the former president’s foreign policy approach, Jeb Bush’s citation of his brother as his main adviser on Israel was partly received as a surprise. Nonetheless, not everyone in the room shared the same opinion.
What led to this response from Jeb Bush’s side was a question related to former secretary of state James Baker. In March he overthrew the sympathy of the Republican Party when he addressed the pro-Israel advocacy group J.Street. In his speech Mr. Baker sustained staunch criticism directed at Israel’s Prime Minister for not backing up a two-state solution.
Under these circumstances Mr. Bush declared that Mr. Baker is not part of his foreign policy team and that the address was regrettable.
In aid of Jeb Bush, spokesperson Tim Miller stated:
“Governor Bush has said before that his brother is the greatest ally to Israel in presidential history, he admires his stalwart support for our ally, and that is in line with his commitment to standing with Israel in the face of great threats to their security and our own”.
And all the fuss might be for nothing. It is true that the Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in March placed George W. Bush’s approval rates quite low in regards to his tenure of the highest vetted White House seat. It is also true that within the Republican Party, the approval rate is still at 87 percent.
Yet, the relation between the two Bush brothers has already been described as a warm and close one. Regarding policy matters, their relation has been described as distant and respectful. Although educated in the Republican Party, their policy paths differ, Jeb Bush having recently made reference to a fresh start in his policy approach.
Image Source: The Atlantic