For nearly six months, Jeb Bush has been furiously crisscrossing the country to give speeches in key primary states while raising unprecedented campaign millions. He even told reporters at one stop in Nevada: “I am running for president in 2016.”
But believe it or not, through it all Jeb has not been an official presidential candidate. By simply not holding a big announcement party to declare himself a true White House contender, the ex-governor has been free to ignore every campaign finance law on the planet, racking up tens of millions in unregulated cash.
That's about to change. Jeb has finally scheduled an event to admit the truth to the world: All that money is not part of a stealth campaign to replace Sepp Blatter at FIFA. The world's press will gather at Miami Dade College's Kendall campus on June 15 to hear the shocking news that Bush is actually going to challenge for the GOP nomination for president.
Although his official announcement website, jebannouncement.com, is still teasing a mystery event on June 15, multiple reports confirm the speech will be held at MDC Kendall.
It's an interesting choice sure to be endlessly contrasted with his top competitor and fellow Miamian, Marco Rubio, who announced his own presidential bid last month at the Freedom Tower. Rubio's choice bespoke his personal narrative as the son of Cuban immigrants, a tale he retold in the spiritual home of Cuban-Americans.
Bush, by contrast, has chosen MDC, the largest community college in America. That's a not-so-subtle hint that Bush's education legacy as Florida governor will be a major piece of his campaign. MDC's mission — providing relatively low-cost college education — also fits neatly into Bush's "Rise to Rise" campaign, which aims to focus on raising Americans up the economic ladder.
Bush could also use a bump in the polls from a big announcement speech. He's had a rocky month, starting with a repeatedly fumbled answer to the seemingly simple question of whether, in hindsight, his brother should have started that whole War in Iraq.
Since then, he's been grilled over his "unofficial" campaign, with CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer asking him flat out if he wasn't openly breaking the law. ( “No, of course not. I would never do that,” Bush answered.)
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Lately, Marco Rubio has been rising steadily in poll numbers, with some speculating that Bush might even be lagging behind in the all-important Florida primary.
The double-whammy of an announcement bump in the polls and an end to the questions over his fundraising strategy could help on all fronts.
And Miamians will get another dose of the international media parachuting into town for a political show.