Not to be outdone by Bill Clinton in the civility department, Jeb Bush has offered some light praise for President Obama:
The brother of the Mr. Obama’s predecessor noted that Mr. Obama had chosen the head of the Chicago public school system, Arne Duncan, as his education secretary and they had worked to focus more on school children and less on the adults running the schools.
“Any time an elected official in the world we’re in today that appears so dysfunctional challenges a core constituency not of their opponent but of their own political base, I think we should pause and give them credit,” Bush said.
The comments came after Rose pointed to comments Bush had made in April praising Duncan and saying the Obama administration had done “a pretty good job” on education policy…
The former politician, who flatly ruled out a run as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the interview, noted that he now has the luxury of being able to say what he thinks and is not constrained by political ambitions.
“I don’t have to play the game of being 100,000 percent against President Obama. I got a long list of things that I think he’s done wrong. And I, with civility and respect, I will point those out if I’m asked. But on the things that I think he’s done a good job on, I– I’m not gonna just say, ‘no, no,’ ” Bush said…
In his case, though, he’d like to see the compliment returned:
“I think it would help him politically. For example, when he was gracious at the unveiling of the portrait, you know, there’s no way not to be gracious I guess in that kind of setting,” Bush said, referring to a recent ceremony at the White House to unveil the official portrait of former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
“But it helps,” he said, calling it “just a small acknowledgement that the guy that, you know, that you replaced isn’t the source of every problem that– and– and the excuse of why you’re not being successful I think would help him politically.”…
Actually, I think it would, too — among people like me. But he has to worry about his base.
Unfortunately, to those who are not retired from politics, the other side is the devil these days, and one is never allowed to give the devil his due.