Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

WSJ: Jeb Bush Wraps Himself In Common Core Standards Even As Many GOPers Renounce Them

This doesn't seem like a winning strategy for GOP primaries:

Most potential Republican presidential contenders are renouncing the national educational standards known as Common Core. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has championed measuring academic achievement for two decades, is doubling down.

Resistance to Common Core is growing among the party's activists, who see it as a federal incursion into local schools. Republican governors of South Carolina and Oklahoma last month joined Indiana in opting out. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who two years ago said the initiative "will raise expectations for every child," recently compared it to Russian centralized planning and on Friday vetoed a pro-Common Core bill.
Mr. Bush, by contrast, is urging states to stick with it. 

"Pressing pause means stopping forward momentum," said a letter released Monday by Mr. Bush's nonprofit Foundation for Excellence in Education. "And when that happens, things can go backwards."

Mr. Bush's embrace of Common Core, as well as his support for legalizing undocumented immigrants, is coming to define his national profile ahead of a possible 2016 presidential bid. These stances isolate him from the conservatives who dominate Republican nominating contests. Last week, they demonstrated their power by ousting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Virginia GOP primary.


Most potential 2016 GOP candidates have come out swinging against the standards, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum

"It substitutes an unaccountable federal bureaucracy for state, local and parental decision-making in education," said Jim DeMint, a former senator who is president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with an active political arm. "Parents are tired of the failures and excuses from Washington."

Bush has little chance to win GOP primaries with these stances on education, Common Core and immigration:

As the GOP has shifted to the right, it is tea-party activists who are now among Mr. Bush's most ardent opponents. In addition to unhappiness with the federal role in education, conservative activists see a corporate connection to the initiative.

Since 2010, Mr. Bush's foundation has received $5 million from the Gates Foundation, and it gets donations from companies in the education industry, including Pearson PSON.LN +1.27% PLC and News Corp's NWSA -0.64% Amplify, which have contracts related to implementing Common Core. (News Corp publishes The Wall Street Journal.)

"All Common Core roads lead to K Street," wrote commentator and activist Michelle Malkin, one of Mr. Bush's biggest antagonists, referring to the Washington turf of many lobbyists.

Maybe you can't extrapolate the Cantor/Brat race to the country as a whole, but I think it is safe to say that if Tea Partiers are opposed to a particular Republican presidential candidate, that candidate is going to face an uphill climb for the nomination.

Bush will have the backing of the moneyed class in the GOP, especially if Christie is eliminated by Bridgegate and the other scandals plaguing him.

But Bush will also enjoy the animosity and hostility of conservatives on talk radio, from Laura Ingraham to Glenn Beck, conservatives with a huge Internet following, like Michelle Malkin, and activists on the ground.

Good luck trying to come out of that toxic mix a winner.

On top of that, Bush will enjoy presidential level scrutiny of his business record since he left political office.

There's a lot of funkiness around Bush, the agenda he promotes and the money he makes for promoting that agenda.

I can't see that issue being a winner with Tea Partiers either.

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