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Francis Wilkinson

Jeb Bush's Audacity of Hope

Jeb Bush's nascent presidential candidacy is predicated on one bigger bet and one smaller one.
Hopeful. Audacious.

Hopeful. Audacious.

Photographer: Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Jeb Bush's nascent presidential candidacy is predicated on one big bet and one small one. The big bet is that the Great Republican Anti-Government Tantrum is over, and that American conservatism is prepared to revert to a more moderate mission as a force for nimble government, efficient markets, powerful military and acceptance of a minimal social safety net as a necessary hedge against untrammeled capitalism.

The small bet is that Bush himself, and his campaign, will have the character and discipline to hew to principle even after the Republican base discovers his deviant positions on immigration and education, and begins to suspect that Bush can't be trusted as a vessel carrying the base's sacred myths.