Washington: With his campaign logo ready, Jeb Bush is set to make his big announcement today, formally adding his name to the crowded Republican field for the 2016 US presidential election.
Bush, 62, has run a de facto race for six months, raising money and increasing his international profile, including a trip this week to Europe. Following his speech in Miami, he will set about proving that although he comes from the Bush political dynasty, he is his own man with his own accomplishments to point to and ideas to offer.
Today, his campaign released his logo: “Jeb!” in big red letters on a white background, with 2016 in smaller blue lettering underneath the name. The family name is carefully avoided.
“I think the transition to a candidacy will allow me to be more direct about my advocacy of the leadership skills necessary for the next president to fix a few things,” Bush told CNN in an interview aired Sunday.
“And as a candidate,” he added, “I’ll be more specific on policy.” A Bush campaign video lists reforms he made while governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. “The barriers right now on people rising up is the great challenge of our time,” Bush says in the video.
Bush aims to break from the pack of potentially 15 or more Republican hopefuls by portraying himself as an experienced executive leader not tainted by Washington politics and the dysfunction that many Americans associate with politics as usual.
“I can make decisions. I’ve made tough decisions. I have a life experience that’s full,” Bush told CNN. “Full of warts and full of successes. It’s something that I think has been lacking in the presidency, is to have someone who has been tempered by life.”
Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner on the Democratic side, with no current close competition. But evidence of Bush’s struggle is apparent in Iowa. It is the state that votes first in the primaries and caucuses that determine the party nominees, with him coming in seventh among declared or potential candidates in a poll last month.
“People make up their mind in the last weeks of these primaries. So my expectation is that we’ll have slow, steady progress,” Bush told CNN. Nationally, Bush is bunched at the top of most polls, but he is not the dominant figure in the race that many had expected.