Jeb Bush's bizarre strategy to defeat Hillary: Attack her as a candidate of "the past"!

Third Bush to seek White House tells donors he's a candidate of the future

By Luke Brinker

Published January 20, 2015 10:25PM (EST)

Jeb Bush                                  (Reuters/David Manning)
Jeb Bush (Reuters/David Manning)

Potential Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush would attack likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as a candidate of "the past," a Republican donor who met with Bush today told the Washington Examiner.

Speaking before a group of GOP lobbyists in Washington on Tuesday, Bush reportedly argued that Clinton's expected 2016 White House bid would be "a campaign of the past dating back to what happened in the 1990s," according to one person present. Bush, meanwhile, would offer "a candidacy of the future," focused on issues like immigration reform, the attendee told the Examiner.

Bush's remarks echo those of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another potential GOP contender, who told the Republican National Committee's winter meeting last week that the party needed to field a candidate with a "new, fresh approach" if it wanted to defeat Clinton.

But assailing Clinton as a candidate steeped in the past would be a curious tack for Bush to take, to put it mildly. The son and brother of former presidents first ran for elected office in 1994, mounting an unsuccessful challenge to Gov. Lawton Chiles (D-FL) before winning the Florida governorship in 1998. By 2016, it will have been 14 years since Bush, who was re-elected governor in 2002, ran his last political campaign.

Of course, needling Clinton as a politician past her sell-by date -- a "20th-century candidate," as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio put it, apparently unaware that Clinton did not run for political office until 2000 -- does offer her potential rivals an indirect way of attacking the 67-year-old Clinton's age, which GOP strategist Karl Rove has notably tried to insert into the race. Bush, 61, is no spring chicken, but as he gears up for the rigors of a national campaign, he's made a point of being spotted at the gym of Miami's swank Biltmore Hotel.

It's going to be an absolutely wonderful campaign.

Luke Brinker

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