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Jeb Bush's political obituary

I never had any desire to run for political office, but, if I did, it would be to make a difference.

If I didn’t think I could make a difference, what would be the point?

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told us last week he just didn’t have the power and authority to save one innocent woman forced by court order and armed guard to starve to death in his state.

I don’t believe that’s true. Not for a minute do I believe it. Jeb Bush blinked. And that weakness that he showed for the whole world should represent the end of his political career.

It’s unfortunate, because I believe Jeb Bush knew, deep in his convictions, it was wrong to let Terri Schiavo be murdered by a judge’s order.

He even dispatched a team of state law enforcement officers to seize her hours after Judge George Greer refused to listen to his pleadings in the courtroom.

But he backed down. When local cops informed the state officers that they would enforce the judge’s order, the agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement stopped.

That’s not leadership. That’s capitulation.

Gov. Jeb Bush shouldn’t have merely dispatched officers to the scene to negotiate with the local cops, he should have led them. He should have personally persuaded those local officers that he was the highest law enforcement official in the state and he was ordering them to stand down.

He should have been a field general, not an armchair general.

He should have walked up to that hospice with overwhelming force behind him.

He should have done so with the whole world watching.

Jeb Bush has been talked about as a potential presidential candidate. But who is going to seriously consider a commander in chief who backs down at the first sign of resistance?

Bush may have been trying to take the safe route in this crisis, but it represents, in my estimation, the end of his political ambitions.

Jeb Bush was tested, and he was found lacking.

He allowed a terribly immoral action to take place in his state and did nothing but huff and puff about it.

And it wasn’t the first time.

Say what you will about former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. I think she was a fascist. I think she was a criminal. I think she was possibly stark, raving mad. But she backed up her misguided convictions by sending armed federal agents swooping in to pick up little Elian Gonzalez and take him back to Cuba. It was wrong, but she wasn’t afraid.

Back then, Gov. Jeb Bush sat by and watched his authority breached by Washington.

This time, he sat by and watched his authority breached by a puny, little county bureaucrat, a local politician, Judge George Greer.

Does the Florida governor have any authority?

If not, we shouldn’t take the position seriously as a stepping stone to higher office. If it does, why didn’t he use it when it counted?

I feel sorry for Jeb Bush today.

I think he knew right from wrong in this case but didn’t have the courage of his convictions. I think he listened to all the wrong advisers. I think he will carry regrets about Terri Schiavo to his grave.

He could have been a hero. He could have been a leader.

Instead, he appears weak. Instead, he appears to vacillate.

My wife told me: “If Jeb Bush had done the right thing for Terri, I would have given up six months of my life to campaign for him. I would have done anything to help him.”

I’m sure many people feel like that. Let me ask you today: Is anyone excited about the possibility of a third Bush administration?