Jeb Bush Is Set to Make Official What Was Widely Known

NYT FDMaggie Haberman 6/15/2015

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Good Monday morning from Washington, where, yet again, there is work to be done and drama to watch over the trade bill. But after this week, nearly every hopeful will be formally accounted for on the campaign trail, as Hillary Rodham Clinton held her official kickoff rally on Saturday and Jeb Bush tells us he is, indeed, running for president.

After a six-month period of proto-candidacy, Mr. Bush on Monday will declare at a rally in Miami his plan to seek the office once held by his father and his brother. Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, is the second candidate to announce his plans in Miami; Senator Marco Rubio, his former protégé, held his rally at the city’s Freedom Tower in April.

The speech, according to his aides, will focus on three themes: his accomplishments as governor, his “heart” to help people facing obstacles in their lives and his desire to earn every vote without compromising his views. To that end, the crowd at Miami Dade College is expected to be heavily Hispanic, a group Mr. Bush’s allies believe he will appeal to in a general election.

His campaign slogan — Jeb! — was unveiled to some mockery on Twitter on Sunday, but it is virtually identical to the one he used in his races for governor, which, his aides argued, shows consistency.

Though speeches are not typically Mr. Bush’s strong suit —he tends to fare better in question-and-answer forums— the event represents something of a reset after a rocky period of seeming unsure how to address his lineage or how to frame an economic message. It is a chance to remind the party’s donors and elites why he was once thought to be Republicans’ best hope of regaining the White House. Since January, his poll numbers have stalled, and his struggle to articulate a clear answer on whether he would have invaded Iraq in 2003 mystified many party leaders.

Mr. Bush’s speech will also be compared with Mrs. Clinton’s event in New York City on Saturday, a string of policy points that appealed to her party’s base.