Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush: Who is the lesser of the two evils?

America needs an on-going disaster recovery effort due to the impact of the George Bush's years.

Ahson Saeed Hasan June 21, 2015
I typically never feel sorry for rich people. If they are politicians, in addition to being rich, then Lord have mercy on them. They’ll never escape my wrath. But Jeb Bush, who officially entered the US presidential race recently, clearly is an exception to this rule. 

The guy is smart. His track record as an individual and as a politician hasn’t been too bad. He’s married to an immigrant – nothing less than a compliment for an American politician these days. His kids are a bit messed up, but kids will always be kids, especially if they belong to the Bush clan.

However, and ladies and gentlemen this is one huge ‘however’, much like at times the Bhutto name is a stigma (Bilawal Bhutto might agree with me), Jeb’s last name is a horrendously sinful and disturbing act that reminds the American population of his brother, George W Bush’s legacy. The wounds are still fresh, and while both Democrats and Republicans respect Papa BushGeorge ruined us, taking away our confidence as a nation.

It’ll take us decades to recover from the Bush-inflicted PTSD.

Jeb Bush may, therefore, be the right Bush stuck in the wrong bush, ambushed by his own Bushmen. That begs the question – does he stand a chance to even get through the Republican debates and primaries stage? With so many Lucy, the loose cannons already in the race from the Republican side, I’m looking forward to the mudslinging duels interactions that one can expect from the long line up, aptly described by Bill Clinton as ‘more like the Kentucky Derby than Belmont’, of blockheads that have jumped into the fray.

For all we know, Jeb is the only one with star quality and, personality-wise, has a leg to stand on.

What if Jeb does pull the fast one and manages to win the White House?

On June 15th, while announcing his candidacy, he said,
“In any language, my message will be an optimistic one because I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead in America the greatest time ever to be alive in this world.”

Sheer idealism doesn’t work in the real world, especially in Washington’s treacherous corridors of power where compassion and consideration are unknown commodities.

Many argue that Jeb, despite his ‘I’m my own man’ statements, will walk into the (GW) Bush trap vis-à-vis domestic and foreign handling of affairs. The main cause of concern is America’s tarnished image in the post-GW era. The current president has done an incredible job in regaining some of the lost ground but there’s still a lot to do.

A country like Pakistan shouldn’t expect a drastic (or favourable) turnaround from a Jeb-White House. Although he’s been silent about dealing with Pakistan, it would be safe to expect that it’ll be business as usual, not a whole lot of change from a strategic standpoint will be affected. US regional foreign policy is likely to stay constant in the Af-Pak area.

Conversely, it’ll be in Islamabad’s best interest if it minds its own business and doesn’t meddle in the affairs of its neighbours and that, mind you, does include Iran as well. One can see a tremendous change taking place in the US policy toward Tehran in the coming years. President Barack Obama has initiated a process of dialogue and negotiation, and that’ll only bring positivity in the atmosphere as we move along.

Granted, I am a dreamer, I may be totally hallucinating when I say I think Jeb can win the White House.

Why? The answer is easy.

There is a giant contender on the other side of the ring by the name of Hillary Clinton. Hillary is a superstar and while many fear that the US might fall prey to dynastic politics, Hillary’s own status and standing as a leader far surpass that of her adversaries vying for the presidency. Take her last name away and she’s still a power to be reckoned with.

Jeb, on the other hand, may not be alien to Washington politics but has never held office in this can of worms. He lacks the finesse and the swagger that is so essential to be successful in this town of conspiracies and scandals. Remove the ‘Bush’ from Jeb’s name and he’s a lost puppy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, come November 2016, we see a Bush-Clinton faceoff. The next few weeks and months will help us understand their future plans and programs. I’ve watched each US presidential election since I was a little kid and I have my reasons to believe that Republicans have little or no chance to regain the White House, not at least in 2016. And, this is good news.

While George W massacred the US image, left us high and dry domestically and literally unfriended the country from many who respected and supported our cause, Hillary has served in different roles, playing a key part as First Lady in the White House and thereafter as Secretary of State that saw her dynamically rolling with the punches and taking the heat when the country’s interests were at stake.

Republicans are still adamant about how she handled the Benghazi episode but they are just in the habit of pointing fingers. That’s what they are good at.

My assumptions or forecast is not based on any rocket science rules of behaviour. There’s no mysticism involved and we don’t need Jeb’s optimism to get us through these troubled times. This is not even about Jeb or Hillary. We need a real leader, one who ‘suffers’ from the obsessive compulsive disorder of fixing America’s ills both at home and abroad. While Jeb has dwindled about supporting wars or immigration, Hillary has been very forthright about such issues.

America needs an on-going disaster recovery effort due to the impact of the GW years. Someone must continue Obama’s good work. Unfortunately, since he cannot stay on for more than eight years as president, Hillary, a long-time Obama confidant, can carry the torch further.

Race, terrorism, a stale economy, and the failure to keep up with changing times are paralysing America and Hillary knows all that. Even if she has a tainted past, I’d go with the lesser of the two evils and put my faith in her. All I know is that this is no Bush time.

It may sound corny but America and Americans, despite all the odds we are faced with, can still do better, elect a deserving leader and avoid yet another White House Bush ambush.
Ahson Saeed Hasan The writer is a proud American and a peacenik who has travelled to over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He tweets @tweetingacho (https://twitter.com/tweetingacho)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.