Amazing contrast between today’s NYT and today’s WaPo treatments of Jeb Bush’s wife, Columba. And surprisingly, it’s the NYT that does the puff piece, so puffy as to be a whitewash. And it’s the Post that does the journalism.
In the very long NYT article, you get down about 2/3 of the article — a long way from its front-page start — before you read this sympathetic portrayal of smuggling:
But Mrs. Bush also found the public spotlight searing. Returning to the United States in 1999 from one of her regular trips to Europe, Mrs. Bush lied to customs officials about her overseas purchases: She said she had spent only $500, but receipts were found for $19,000 in clothes and jewelry. A spokesman for Mr. Bush said at the time that she had underreported the goods because she did not want Mr. Bush to know how much she had spent. (Mr. Bush is known among his friends as frugal with his own clothing, at least.)
The episode only increased Mrs. Bush’s reluctance to deal with reporters, and her desire to withdraw from public scrutiny.
And then it’s back to all her charitable works and home making — which, oddly, doesn’t include cooking as the article mentions, literally in passing, “Mr. Bush usually made the family dinners, because she rarely cooks.”
Contrast this to the Post, which leads with this,
In 1999, Columba Bush, the famously private wife of then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was detained and fined by federal customs officials for misrepresenting the amount of clothing and jewelry she had bought while on a solo five-day shopping spree in Paris.
The incident left the Florida first lady deeply mortified and her husband politically chagrined. Jeb Bush said the first lady had misled customs officials because she did not want him to know that she had spent about $19,000 on the trip.
“The embarrassment I felt made me ashamed to face my family and friends,” Columba Bush said in a July 1999 speech to the Central Florida Make-a-Wish Foundation, not long after the incident. “It was the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life.”
The ordeal did not stop her from spending freely, however. Less than a year later, she took out a loan to buy $42,311.70 worth of jewelry on a single day, according to records filed with the state of Florida by Mayors Jewelers.
That purchase was part of a pattern by Columba Bush of borrowing to buy tens of thousands of dollars of jewelry at a time from the South Florida store over a 14-year period.
That’s because Jeb Bush is a bad potential candidate (from the conservative POV). As of recent elections, the more liberal the media, the more it whitewashes and even touts GOP candidates that are bad picks for the GOP. The hope it that A). they will get the nomination because they are so “popular” (most voters don’t really pay much attention, so popularity matters most), and B). there is some scandal that will enflame their supposed constituency against them. The NYT does not want JB ELECTED, they want him nominated (so no one can take his place) and then taken down, preferably by his own flaws, finally reported with zest.
Look at McCain. he was a lousy candidate from a conservative POV. But he was pushed and goaded by the liberal press into running and only THEN were various stories about corruption, infidelity, etc. brought forth, having been suppressed for years by the same media that got him running, then nominated.
Same thing happened with Romney.
the GOP would do the same thing, but they don’t have the mainstream press on their side. Putting an article in National Review about how lousy a candidate Hillary Clinton is is largely meaningless, as it by definition is preaching to the choir.
This is just how it works these days and why ONLY people with huge egos and superiority complexes will even run for major office (how we then get stuck with the clowns we do). If it isn’t obvious to you that they NYT will be generally kinder to JB than more conservative media, then you don’t know as much about elections as you think you do.
OK, I sort of get why an in-the-tank for ultra-right media outlet like the Post might want to trash JEB! on the grounds that they prefer other full-time red-meat candidates, or think he’s insufficiently ultra-right….although AFAIK the only issue he’s not in fact ultra-right on is immigration.
But if I were on the Clinton campaign, the candidates I’d be most afraid of are Walker and Bush. A Cruz or a Rand Paul or a Huckabee would be much easier to demonize. So why would an in-the-tank liberal media, the category to which you wish to consign the NYT, want to make life easy for JEB! ?
Maybe I wasn’t clear. For the same reason that the left media pretended to want McCain as a candidate: Because they thought it would be easy to destroy him, both for the left and the right, once he became the actual nominee, and thus not able to be replaced. the media was sitting on (for a long time) a number of anti McCain stories that in an objective situation, should have barred the media from seemingly pushing McCain to run (as they did for years). As it turned out the skeletons weren’t particularly powerful, but it all made sense in retrospect. Unless you really believe that the left wanted McCain to be president?
Same thing here: Bush is a weak candidate that conservatives have real problems with. He also has a number of potential skeletons. So if you are a Hillary supporter, who do YOU want to be her opponent?
I made the conscious decision a year or two back that I would not vote for someone with the last name Bush or Clinton. Dynasties are not a good thing, party politics be damned.
Honestly, I don’t quite even know why Columba Bush and her lapse in judgment 15 years or so ago are significant. She’s not a candidate and as long as she’s not robbing liquor stores to fund her jewelry purchases I fail to see why it is significant.