I would be less than candid if I did not say there is a real level of almost giddiness in our home concerning the upcoming GOP presidential debate on August 6th. After what passed for debates in 2012 with the GOP field—and we watched them all (there should be some type of award for that)—there is once again a high level of crazy that is anticipated from having people such as Cruz, Trump, and Carson on the same stage.
But as much as I like the strange theater that is sure to play out I am also mighty curious how the most likely candidate to emerge as the nominee plays his cards. That being Jeb Bush.
It is no surprise to say that standing in the midst of so many cock-eyed candidates who will not be viewed as creditable it is most important for Bush to show his ability to look presidential. Some like Walker will pretend to be grounded in policy ideas but it is the work of Bush to show he truly has mastered the finer points of complex issues.
In recent months, Bush has immersed himself in planning for the debate, holding mock sessions with advisers. Last week, after huddling with top donors at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, the former governor spent his time in debate study, according to two people who’d been in touch with him. By the end of the process, said another source, Bush could end up spending as much as 50 hours in preparation, an amount that far surpasses what Mitt Romney had done at this point during the last Republican primary.
“I’ve been impressed by how hard Jeb has been and is working. He takes all the aspects of running seriously and has spent considerable time in learning and practicing to make himself a better candidate,” said Ana Navarro, a longtime Bush friend. “Jeb’s always been a hard worker and serious guy, but he is going about this with an unwavering commitment and humility, and more surprisingly, patience, I’d say.”