Jeb Bush kicked off the Big Expensive Speakers series at the Mackinac Policy Conference, and as one Detroit columnist said, it sounds like he’s running for president, in the sense that he said GOP-primary-type things. Like:
He praised the power of “opportunity,” condemned the politics of waste and excuse-making in Washington and cities like Detroit. He pumped education reform that focuses on achievement rather than “self-esteem,” and praised Republican Gov. Rick Snyder for being a practical, rather than ideological, leader.
Bush tied his discussion of education to platitudes, rather than practical solutions. He praised Michigan for aping some of what Florida has done, for pushing charter schools and contemplating online learning — which has a remarkably sketchy track record — but didn’t address crucial areas like funding, or independent school accountability.
It was the self-esteem crack that chapped my ass. I have a sophomore leaning in for her finals, and believe me, she is not stinting on the achievement. And when I think about it, I have never heard the phrase “self esteem” mentioned, ever, by any of her teachers. Not in Fort Wayne, not in Ann Arbor, not here. Not in preschool, not in grade school, not in — you get the idea. Where are these self-esteem academies that Republicans are always bitching about?
There was also this, which shows there’s a reason he’s the Smart Bush:
2:33 PM: Asian-Americans have higher education achievement, higher incomes, higher entrepreneurial rates. More than 70% of Asian-Americans voted for Obama even though, Bush tells Detroit News’ Daniel Howes in the post-speech Q&A, they should be part of the GOP coalition but too many conservative voices have made the party seem exclusionary to minorities and immigrants.
Hmm, how did that happen?
Oh, well. Friends, I did a two-a-day today — weights in the morning, 12 bike miles in the afternoon, and I’m whipped. I think I’m headed for bed, but I’ll be up at the usual insane bird-chirpy hour of 5:30 or so. Because that is my lot in life. We’re looking at a thunderstorm eventually — it’s bearing down on central Wisconsin as I write this — so if we’re in for a big one, hey, let me know.