January 6, 2016

"Leave my daughter alone," said 2003 Jeb. But 2016 Jeb is not leaving her alone.

"As a father, I have felt the heartbreak of drug abuse. I never expected to see my precious daughter in jail," said Jeb Bush. "It wasn’t easy, and it became very public when I was governor of Florida, making things even more difficult for Noelle. She went through hell, so did her mom, and so did I."

She went through hell, but why not use her as a means to the end of getting votes in a state (New Hampshire) ravaged by drug abuse? I'm questioning Jeb's judgment. He raised a daughter who, for whatever reason, fell into this problem/chose this course. But she's "in recovery" and she seems to have kept out of the news for quite a while. Shouldn't she be left alone? Back when she was arrested, there were articles like “Noelle Bush: A victim or princess?” and “Royal rehab: Nonviolent drug offenders should get the Bush treatment.” And Jeb complained:
In 2003, Mr. Bush grew frustrated with a Miami Herald reporter, according to emails obtained by The New York Times through a public records request. “The only reason you wrote the piece or were told to write the piece is that my struggling daughter is the child of the governor,” Mr. Bush chided the reporter. “It won’t matter in the whole scheme of things, but I wish the media would leave my daughter alone. It would make it a whole lot easy for her to recover and live a life full of hope and promise.”
"Leave my daughter alone," said 2003 Jeb. But 2016 Jeb is not leaving her alone.

22 comments:

Danno said...

Jeb! in 2016 has morphed into a special kind of stupid. Totally desperate to become one of the popular kids again.

Mark said...

Reminds me a bit of Ted Cruz, more than happy to use his kids in an ad (one even delivers a joke line about Hillary!) .... But don't you dare say anything, as he is the only one who can exploit them in the media. Leave the kids out of it (except when they deliver attack lines in your ads).

Just about everyone is a hypocrite on this subject .... Walkers kids dropped out of college to help his run, got paid by the campaign, but you can bet he would be irate if you mention them.

It's all turtles the whole way down,

rhhardin said...

It's the women's vote. You get points for saying you're leaving the children out, and you get points for involving the children with story or other.

It's such a dilemma.

Guys don't care.

damikesc said...

I don't get the point of bringing his own daughter's issues up here. She doesn't deserve the public scrutiny.

Reminds me a bit of Ted Cruz, more than happy to use his kids in an ad (one even delivers a joke line about Hillary!) .... But don't you dare say anything, as he is the only one who can exploit them in the media.

Fuck you. Obama used Malia and Sasha in ads. Nobody attacked them except for one political aide who was then nailed with weeks of vicious political reporting about how terrible she was.

Fuck your bullshit on this. You're a fucking hypocrite. You're justifying a cartoonist attacking a SEVEN YEAR OLD. How fucking evil are you?

traditionalguy said...

Maybe drug usage is an Act of Love in the Bush family.It could prepare a Bush for their turn as the President of the United States. Without it, how could they repent and courageously go sober?

Saint Croix said...

Hopefully he asked his daughter before he did this.

EDH said...

Jeb is pretending to be someone who is relevant enough to need to inoculate himself now, preemptively, from eventual opposition ads from his cruel opponents who would exploit his daughter's suffering.

"Only Jeb can exploit his daughter's suffering."

mezzrow said...

Jeb! is an unending rainbow of sadness. Go home, Jeb. You can still do a lot of good, but you are not going to be President. Accept it. You can walk away now and do the country (and your party) a big favor.

grackle said...

Reminds me a bit of Ted Cruz, more than happy to use his kids in an ad …

On the one hand we have Jeb who rehashes his hapless, unseen daughter’s drug problem in one of the most public forums possible and on the other, Cruz, who has his kids front and center, participating in a satirical campaign ad. Yes, both politicians use their offspring, which is a little bit like observing that both cows and horses have tails.

Most politicians running for POTUS display their families to the voters; indeed, to hide them from view would almost certainly be seen as odd, as in, “Why don’t we ever see the wife and kids?” I guess we know why Jeb’s daughter is the exception. No one familiar with the Bush years in Florida has to wonder why Bush’s daughter isn’t usually featured by Jeb in campaigns.

While Jeb’s usage could damage his daughter’s well-being I see no harm accruing to Cruz’s kids from Cruz’s tongue-in-cheek ad. To imply that the two examples are analogous is a bit rich.

Bob Boyd said...

"Mr. Bush has said he first checked with his daughter, now 38"

I think there is a big difference between then and now. Then she was only 24 and in the middle of the worst of it. Now she's at the point where she has some perspective and is able to draw on her experiences help others.
National drug control policy is a Presidential campaign issue. All of this is going to come up. Jeb can either deal with it on his terms or have it used against him. Either way Noelle is going to be in news. At the bottom of the piece, of course, is the positive response he got from attendees of the forum.
Also, Jeb's wife is on the board of a national anti-drug group based at Columbia University.

Curious George said...

"Mark said...
Walkers kids dropped out of college to help his run, got paid by the campaign, but you can bet he would be irate if you mention them."

Walker's son was in the news about attending a gay wedding. Both have been written about. Please show me any proof of Walker's "irate" response.

alan markus said...

"Leave my daughter alone," said 2003 Jeb. But 2016 Jeb is not leaving her alone.

Sometimes actions have consequences - besides the impact on the family, her drug use also had political consequences to her father - a quick Google search shows many years of Bush being attacked, mocked, etc. due to his daughter's actions. So, whether or not he asked his daughter first is a moot issue - use drugs, blow up your life and that of your family's, and yes, there may some "uncomfortable" consequences.

I suspect the majority of the commenters (and the blogger) here are pretty much sheltered from how the heroin issue has infected the whole country. However, if you apply the "six degrees of separation", probably at the 3rd or 4th degree you may be closer than you know.

Our high school hosted a community forum on the heroin epidemic. Besides the usual professionals giving the presentations, a stand out was a well-known emergency room physician giving statistics about admissions for drug overdoses - she ended by speaking about her son - high honors student, athlete, and heroin abuser. Several weeks ago our church devoted the service to drug issues - one of the speakers was a local successful businessman who shared his personal story about a life-long history of drug abuse, culminating in the use of heroin. A friend sitting behind me lost his son do a drug overdose. The majority of our county's foster children have been placed with families in our church - the number one reason for placement is drug abuse issues.

Heroin has an ally in community silence - people like the physician, the businessman, and Jeb Bush are part of a movement to address this epidemic by being public, showing families that they are not alone, it has nothing to do with income, upbringing or social status, and attempts to keep the problem a personal private matter will only end in death. It is a much different world now (2016) versus back in 2003.

Monkeyboy said...

Maybe there's a difference between talking publicly about a person during their recovery and talking about them thirteen years later?

I find the parsing of the attack on Ted Cruz's children (not teens, actual children) interesting. "They were in an attack ad" doesn't have to be believable, like "we have always been at war with Oceana" doesn't have to be believable. It just has to be enough to justify the hate.

The real reason to go after Cruz's children is that nits breed lice.

Mary Beth said...

Reminds me a bit of Ted Cruz, more than happy to use his kids in an ad (one even delivers a joke line about Hillary!) .... But don't you dare say anything, as he is the only one who can exploit them in the media.

By "say anything", you mean the WaPo cartoonist drawing them as monkeys?

Michael K said...

"But don't you dare say anything, as he is the only one who can exploit them in the media"

Mary Beth, you beat me to it. That creep thinks portraying two little girls as monkeys in a newspaper cartoon is OK.

The other interesting thing to me is how Trump's kids seem to be OK in spite of his rude, crude brash behavior. How can that be ?

MaxedOutMama said...

But that was thirteen years ago, and if his daughter is a stable adult now, discussing the fact that recovery is very possible is certainly less harmful to her and perhaps she has agreed to a public role in this campaign.

I am in no way a Jeb Bush enthusiast, but I am unwilling to criticize him for telling the press to leave her alone earlier. I do not think him mentioning her situation now is necessarily hypocritical or self-serving.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Partt of his argument in 2003, was that her recovery would be made more difficult by writing about it.

But now it doesn't refer to the way she is now, and she's no longer in recovery, and this was done with her consent, and he is not really going into detail, or embarassing her.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Michael K said...1/6/16, 9:30 AM

The other interesting thing to me is how Trump's kids seem to be OK in spite of his rude, crude brash behavior. How can that be ?

It could be that he's nice personally; he gives them jobs; and they are used to him embarassing himself in public from 25 years ago.

Ivanka is said to have become great friends with Chelsea Clinton (probably not by accident - who put them together?) although that friendship is somewhat on hold now - there's a conflict of interest.


Thorley Winston said...

Just so we’re clear: thirteen years ago then Governor Bush’s daughter was going through treatment and facing criminal charges regarding her drug abuse. A newspaper wrote an editorial trying to attack Governor Bush and/or score a political point on the treatment of nonviolent drug offenders and in the process of doing so, attacked Bush’s daughter. Bush said “leave my daughter alone.”

Flash forward to the present: former Governor Bush is running for president and while speaking at a forum on drug treatment, after getting permission from his daughter who has completed her treatment program, spoke about his daughter’s addiction and the effect that it had on their family.

Yeah, they’re exactly the same thing.

mikee said...

I, for one, look forward to an absolute news blackout on the birth of Hillary's second grandchild near the end of this summer, just a few months before the election.

Because using a daughter of a candidate, or an infant granddaughter of a candidate, in any way to promote the (completely false) human side of that candidate would be a horrible act of a monstrously insensitive mother and grandmother, right?

holdfast said...

It's a fine line, but I think that Jeb can talk about it now (assuming he has his daughter's consent), though he must be aware that he's now put it on the table and it can be used against him. Drug addiction is a scourge that can affect the wealthiest and the poorest families (though of course the wealthy have more tools to mitigate the effects) - and so it may make Jeb more relatable for some voters (others may conclude he's a lousy father).

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.