Jeb Bush has spent months as a not-quite presidential candidate, leading most early polls while raking in unprecedented millions in cash — all conveniently outside the bounds of campaign fundraising laws because he wasn't officially a contender yet.
That charade ends today when Miami's favorite dynastic politician finally makes it official with an announcement at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus. Here’s what you need to know:
When and where is the announcement?
The “big announcement” is scheduled for 3 p.m. today at the Miami Dade College Kendall campus’ Theodore R. Gibson Health Center (11011 SW 104th St.). Doors open at 1 p.m. The speech is expected to last 15 minutes.
Why MDC’s Kendall campus?
Bush is Hispanic, remember? Miami Dade College is one of the nation's most diverse schools, with 66 percent of students identifying as HIspanic born in the U.S., 17 percent born in Cuba, and 11 percent born in Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Peru. This sets the stage for a campaign expected to seek votes from the nation's Latino population. Giving his big speech at the nation's largest community college also neatly dovetails with two of his campaign platforms: his educational reform record and his "Right to Rise" platform promoting upward social mobility.
Why is Jeb announcing now?
Everyone is getting a bit uncomfortable with all of his super-PAC fundraising. Because his presidential bid hasn’t been made official yet, Bush was allowed to ask donors to his Right to Rise PAC for more than the limit of $2,700 per donor per election. By early spring, he had raised a whopping $90 million.
What will Jeb talk about today?
Bush will make it clear he's a doer — a proven "fix it" agent who revamped Florida's economy and government over eight years while enacting a conservative governing agenda. According to his speech talking points, obtained by the Washington Post, Bush will say that he is the kind of leader with the "heart to help people rise up" and that his candidacy will be "speaking to everyone without flinching." Here's a preview of his speech, released this morning:
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Will other Bushes be there?
Bush’s wife, Columba, and his three kids will be present, but aides told the New York Times that Bush's father and brother would not make a cameo. That's sure to be an ongoing story line in Bush's candidacy — how much he embraces his dad and his brother's time in the White House and how much he avoids the family name.
What's up with his logo?
It's simple. And it uses punctuation. Truth be told, it has inspired a mixed reaction online, with pundits latching onto everything from the lack of "Bush" in there (a sign he's running away from Dubya's legacy?) to its nod to his early-'90s logos as a successful gubernatorial candidate to its no-frills — some might say "basic" — looks. And the fact that his logo has sparked dozens of news stories tells you all you need to know about how annoying the next year and a half of political reporting will be.