Republicans Need To Go Back To The Bush Leagues

October 29, 2009Raynard JacksonAccording to the dictionary, bush-league is a reference to anything that is of an “inferior class or group; marked by a lack of sophistication or professionalism.”But, I have a slightly different take on this expression. When I speak of the need for Republicans to return to the “Bush” leagues, I am referring to former president, George Herbert Walker Bush and his team of statesmen, former Secretary of State, James A. Baker, and former Secretary of Commerce, Robert A. Mosbacher.I have known the Bush family for more than two decades and make a point to continue to stay in touch with the family. I was fortunate enough to be asked to chair the former president’s campaign in St. Louis back in 1988. I will always cherish and be grateful to the Bush family for giving a recent college graduate such a prominent position in a presidential campaign. The Bush family is one of the most decent families you will ever meet. They are a very private family, with most of their good deeds going unnoticed by the public. For example, the public is very surprised to find out that the Bush family has been involved with the United Negro College Fund for over forty years and counting.In every one of his campaigns, President Bush was surrounded by Jim Baker and Bob Mosbacher. I met Secretary Baker in June of 1987 at a fundraiser for my senator, John C. Danforth. Jim Baker was the “fix it” man on the Bush team. His legal background always came in handy when it came to negotiations and solving problems (political and otherwise). It’s no wonder that the younger Bush called Jim Baker to represent him during the presidential election dispute of 2000. Baker was clearly far superior to Al Gore’s person, former Clinton secretary of state, Warren Christopher. It was like putting Michael Jordan against a college basketball player—not a fair fight. But, the interesting thing was that Baker never made it personal. He simply out maneuvered Gore and Christopher through the court system and the court of public opinion.Bob Mosbacher served as the point man for the fundraising apparatus of the Bush campaigns. His title would always inevitably be “Finance Chairman.” I don’t remember the specifics of how we met, but it was definitely through the Bush family. I always plan my trips to Houston around his schedule so we can have lunch together. We go to his private club to eat and of course everyone knows him. He always introduces me as a “good friend of mine.” I can always call him to seek his advice and guidance. I am still in disbelief that a kid from St. Louis can be associated with the likes of him, Baker, and Bush.These three wise men are what I call the Bush League. Even though they are Republicans, they all are well respected by Democrats. Not being able to have dinner or drinks with someone because they are a member of the opposite party is a foreign concept to them. They could not imagine being speaker of the house and not having a relationship with the minority leader.Foreign policy, like politics, is mostly based on relationships. I will go so far as to say foreign policy is 90 percent personal relations and 10 percent policy. The Bush League could not imagine not using personal relations to advance America’s security interests throughout the world.When the younger Bush got mired down in his foreign policy initiatives, who did he call for help? You guessed it, Jim Baker. When the younger Bush was in the early stages of putting together his fundraising team, who did he seek out for advice? Yep, Bob Mosbacher.These three wise men are constantly being asked to represent our country in various capacities throughout the world. Even though they haven’t been in public office for almost two decades, they are viewed as true elder statesmen.Who is there within the Republican ranks that can fill these men’s shoes? Unfortunately, the obvious answer is no one. The dysfunction seen within this current Republican Party would never have been allowed under these three wise men. The relevant people would have been ushered into a private meeting and given a chance to air their views; then they would have been told what was going to happen and that they were expected to fall in line. End of discussion!The thought of a military official publically disagreeing with the elder Bush on policy is unthinkable. The unfortunate thing today is that the current leadership within the Republican Party barely even knows these three wise men. Michael Steele would be wise to have a private lunch with each of these gentlemen to seek their guidance and advice.Can you imagine Dick Cheney being a party “wise man?” or Newt Gingrich? Or even the younger Bush? Not even remotely conceivable!The Republican Party is in dire need of some Bush Leaguers, but are they willing to associate themselves with the bush-leaguers currently running our party?Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m. Go to to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group.
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