The Jeb Bush-Tom Luna connection
Jeb Bush and Students Come First. As state schools superintendent Tom Luna looks to sell his K-12 overhaul to the Idaho electorate in November, he leaves the GOP convention with a little money, and a little plug.
On Wednesday, the former Florida governor hosted a fund-raiser that netted at least $100,000 for Yes for Idaho Education, the group campaigning on behalf of the Students Come First overhaul.
Then, on Thursday, Bush brought up Students Come First in a convention speech.
“Idaho’s governor, (Butch) Otter and Superintendent Luna are raising up the best teachers and separating out the ineffective ones. That earned some enemies. Some of them slashed the superintendent’s tires. But he didn’t back down.”
I sense a recurring storyline coming on, heading into the Nov. 6 referenda on the three Students Come First laws: Luna, the reformer, standing up to political goonery. I do feel compelled to note the record, for the second time this week. This vandalism complaint was reported while the 2011 Legislature was locked in a heated debate over the Luna proposals, but the case has never been resolved. In the absence of a criminal charge, speculation about this incident is just that: speculation. And in Bush’s case, it’s speculation from afar.
Sorry to begrudge a guy for trying to squeeze every last mile from a slashed set of tires.
The Bush-Luna connections go back at least to late 2010 — when Luna was working on the overhauls he would unveil at the start of the 2011 session. Luna met with Bush during a national education summit sponsored by Bush. In June 2011,
Bush spoke to a committee assembled to implement the Students Come First technology-in-the-classroom component.
If you needed further proof that the Students Come First election will have national reverberations, the convention provided it.
The Romney speech
For what he had to do on a national stage — launching the sprint to Nov. 6 — Romney did what he needed to do.
He laid out his priorities, albeit in broad strokes. He made clear that he will campaign on the jobs issue — and adhered closely to this theme, deviating only occasionally to talk about foreign policy and social issues. He told his personal story to a national audience.
Perhaps it sounded a bit old hat to Idaho Republicans, especially those who have supported Romney since his 2008 run. But this speech was tailored to the undecided voters, what few of them there are, and was designed to avoid risk. Done and done.
If Romney dwelled a bit too much on family anecdotes, there’s this: They’re tougher to fact-check. (And let’s be fair: the fact-checkers have had their hands full with Wednesday night’s speech from the vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan.)
And if the speech sounded a bit too polished, consider the alternative: a painful-to-watch Clint Eastwood. The legend behind “The Unforgiven” gave us the unintelligible. Ouch.