Following months of technically unofficial campaigning, Jeb Bush will formally announce he’s running for president.
The former governor of Florida, son of George H.W. Bush and brother to George W. Bush, enters the race among the leading contenders for the nomination, but not the leader — and with a number of unknowns.
In recent weeks, Bush and his closest advisers have reshuffled his campaign, selecting a new campaign manager, Danny Diaz, to instill more discipline and urgency in the operation. Bush’s campaign has reportedly emphasized New Hampshire as their must-win early state, and will pour considerable time and resources in trying to do so.
But all told, Bush will be incredibly well-funded, has hired well, and is perhaps the most experience candidate in the field.
The real challenge will be whether he can convince a Republican primary electorate that seems skeptical of his candidacy that he is a conservative candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton. Bush has — so far — pitched himself more as a general election candidate, willing to stand firm on two positions unpopular within the Republican Party, his support for the Common Core education standards and for extending earned legal status to undocumented immigrants. The stances, and in particular his support for the more nationalized education standards the current administration has supported, showcase in some ways how the Republican Party has changed since Bush left the governor’s office in 2007. The post-George W. Bush, post-Obama era produced a wave of young Republicans — including Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and Ted Cruz — who ran explicitly on smaller-government, liberty-minded platforms.