The most talked about joke from Saturday night’s annual Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington, D.C. involved Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) mocking former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) for thinking about extending his family’s presidential dynasty in 2016.
“Jeb Bush looks like he’s running for president. So now we know what the Bush family means by ‘no child left behind,'” Feinstein said.
Bush announced his intention to “actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States” late last year. His father, George Bush Sr., and older brother, George W. Bush are both former presidents.
Feinstein’s joke referenced “No Child Left Behind,” education legislation that was proposed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and signed into law the following year.
The Alfalfa Club is an exclusive group made up of business and political leaders. Press is not allowed to cover their annual dinner, but Politico’s Mike Allen obtained some quotes from speakers at the event. In his writeup, Allen referred to Feinstein’s joke as an “instant classic” and the “talk of the after-party.”
Feinstein’s quip highlights Democrats’ eagerness to attack Jeb Bush by linking him to his family. President George W. Bush, who left office as one of the most unpopular presidents of all time, was widely seen as a major force behind the economic crisis and the controversial Iraq War.
An operative working with a likely Democratic 2016 candidate said they think tying Jeb Bush to his family’s policy positions would be an “effective” strategy against him in the presidential race.
“If people focus on the dynasty angle, the most effective attack will be highlighting the 20-plus year failed Bush family legacy and their unique ability to be on the wrong side of so many issues over the years,” the operative said.
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