Nothing in his political career so became Jeb Bush as much as his eloquent and moving withdrawal from the 2016 presidential race. By making his announcement on Saturday night, he deftly stole the limelight from that shameless camera hog, Trump.
Jeb’s ending of his campaign opens up a new role for him: He can be the John Quincy Adams of our time. Adams was crushed in the presidential election of 1828. He had spent his entire four-year term waiting for the inevitable Jackson bandwagon to roll over him.
But once his presidential aspirations were dashed, Adams came into his own. He re-entered politics by serving as a simple Congressman from Massachusetts. No longer did he have to worry about his ambitions. He threw himself into the cause of Liberty.
Slaveholders in Congress had refused even to allow petitions for ending slavery to be considered in the people’s House. They imposed a “Gag Rule” and killed every motion to take up those abolition petitions. Adams saw this as a gross violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of the people’s right to “petition for the redress of grievances.”
Adams could be seen, year after year, battling for Liberty and the Bill of Rights in the well of the House of Representatives. Elderly and ailing, he nonetheless roared against the injustice of denying the right of petition.
“Old Man Eloquent” they called him. On reaching eighty, he was asked if he would retire. “The world will retire from me before I retire from the world,” Adams replied. Continue Reading