Jeb Bush is already feeling the media heat from both sides and he’s barely put a toe in the water. Conservative reaction to his “act of love” interview on immigration was not one of overjoyed approval but perhaps much more telling about what he might face if he really does decide to enter the race is a New York Times piece on his post-governor business ventures. It delves into the business “empire” Jeb has put together since occupying the governor’s office in Tallahassee. There is a directorship in a company that engaged in less than transparent activities in their accounting — How much directors knew is always an issue here but a news item like this doesn’t help — and the money is flowing in. $3 million in fees and stock grants … over almost seven years. Let’s see that would be, less than $500,000 a year? That’s an empire? Is this the sacrifice he would have to endure to have a go at the White House?

Perhaps Jeb Bush has read another NY Times article, helpfully pointed out by Bill Kristol, that talked about a recent White House confab for the truly wealthy. Thomas Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — Perhaps we could abbreviate it as WHOSIT? — organized a conference/symposium for a hundred or so young heirs to billionaire fortunes where their idealism would have plenty to think about and their checkbooks would of course be more than welcome. With the help of Nexus, a group that wants to work with the next generation of philanthropists and their trust funds, they discussed issues like water quality in Puget Sound. I’m not sure Jeb Bush’s son, who is part of his “empire”, was invited to the event. Not only that, it was closed to the press, save for the article written by a member of the Johnson family; yes, the ones who founded Johnson & Johnson, who was naturally enough, an invited guest. No, the tough press scrutiny is reserved for those who slug away in the $50,000 a speech bracket. And that’s fine, but it seems Jeb Bush is a long way from empire as he decides if it’s worth it to run in 2016.

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