Ethnicity and nationality don’t affect the perceptions of progressives. We simply laughed at the conspiracy fearists’ rants about some half-black, Kenyan-born president, didn’t we? We also await their tirades regarding Canadian-born Cuban Ted Cruz (a true factor, but that doesn’t affect his eligibility to run for president – and we couldn’t care less about it to begin with).
What does affect progressive perception of presidential wannabes are much more relevant factors. Like intelligence. Maybe hand-eye coordination, too. And – wouldn’t you know it? – both of those factors are obviously absent from Jeb Bush, who’s exploring a bid for the White House, but who apparently can’t even fill out a voter registration form correctly.
On his last voter registration, submitted in March 2009 to accommodate a recent address change, Bush selected “Hispanic” instead of “White, not Hispanic.”
The copy obtained by The New York Times is a tad fuzzy, and Florida’s Division of Elections blacked out some personal information on the form, too. But you can still see that selection, which was apparently made when Bush first filled out the pdf form online before printing and signing it.
An ethnic expansion in the White House would certainly be welcome, and which Bush could provide even though he’s not actually of minority status. A Univision broadcast referred to him as “the Hispanic candidate” earlier this year, for example, with apparent attribution to his Mexican wife and their three kids (although George H. W. Bush once publicly referred to those grandchildren as “the little brown ones”).
And he’s worked closely in business ventures with a few Hispanics, too – although Bush probably won’t want public attention for them. For example, Jeb was a personal courier for the Contras in 1985, delivering messages from them to his then-vice president father. (Yes, those Contras, and in what later became known as the Iran-Contra/Oliver North festival.) He also aided Cuban expatriate Miguel Recarey in the 1988 “bust-out” scam involving a Savings & Loan scandal and Medicare fraud, which left a federal prosecutor to describe Bush to be either “crooked or stupid.”
If that negative news could be stifled, then Bush might be able to use his ethnic-identity error on the voter registration to his benefit. A personal affiliation with them might help narrow the gap between Hispanic voters and the Republican Party that has continued to widen over the last decade.
He’ll first need to make up his mind on issues pertinent to Hispanic voters, though. For example, he co-authored “Immigration Wars,” a 2013 book that argues against any path to citizenship for immigrants. He stated an exact opposite opinion the very next day following the book’s release, however.