Jeb Bush is one of the best options available to the Republican Party in 2016. That's the good news. It's also the bad news.
Bush is a serious politician with a reasonably good record of governing. He's brave enough to challenge the hard right on immigration, defending foreigners who come here illegally to help their families. He's a grownup on fiscal matters, unlike the GOP candidates who in 2012 all rejected the idea of ever accepting tax increases. “If you could bring to me a majority of people to say that we’re going to have $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue enhancement — put me in, coach,” he once said.
He lacks the fashionable Republican contempt for environmental concerns, having signed legislation protecting the Everglades. He would owe no favors to culture-warrior social conservatives.
But he's a Bush, and the last one we had was not a success. You have to worry that he will embrace his brother's reckless foreign policy or his irresponsible tax and spending policies. You have to worry that he would take his election as evidence the country wants to return to the policies it rejected in 2008.
Maybe those fears are misplaced. Maybe Jeb would be what many people expected George W. Bush to be -- a reincarnation of the more cautious, pragmatic and farsighted approach of George H.W. Bush. If that's the case, we could do a lot worse in 2016.