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The Lid: A Curious Silence on Iraq

Sometimes, a head-scratching political move turns out to be sheer seeing-around-corners brilliance. But it appears today is not that day for Jeb Bush.
Image: Jeb Bush
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush attends an event at the Metropolitan University in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The former Florida governor delivered a speech on economic opportunities partly in Spanish on Tuesday, and his audience responded with hearty applause. Bush is fluent in the language, and often uses it in Florida, but it's rarely heard in Republican presidential campaign politics. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)Ricardo Arduengo / AP

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos... We learned today that Jeb Bush will skip the Iowa Straw poll. We’re not surprised, based on both his faltering poll numbers in the Hawkeye State and his feared inability to stick to his paleo diet when he’s exposed to the fried butter and “Tater Dog On-a-stick” expected at the state fair.

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Sometimes, a head-scratching political move turns out to be sheer seeing-around-corners brilliance. But it appears today is not that day for Jeb Bush, who had commentators of all political stripes flummoxed over an affirmative answer to this question: “On the subject of Iraq... knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” There’s been the suggestion - including from interviewer Megyn Kelly herself - that Bush misheard the question, but the Bush camp has been silent when it comes to an on-the-record response. Bush is about to go on Sean Hannity’s radio show, where we assume he’ll do some clean up on this issue. But we don’t understand the logic of letting the story hang out there for more than a day when his own interviewer was offering political cover. For Jeb Bush, you’d think the top of the to-do list would be avoiding being lashed to the most unpopular part of his brother’s unpopular foreign policy, especially if the tie was out-of-context or incorrect. Sure, the 24-hour Twittersphere and cable vortex is reactive and unfair, but the smartest candidates can adapt to it (And he has! Remember his pithy, defusing Twitter response after reports that he marked “Hispanic” on his voter registration form?)


Why exactly is Jeb Bush’s answer on Iraq so politically problematic? Check out this chart.

A key component of President Barack Obama's trade agenda failed a critical test in the Senate today as Democrats blocked consideration of a bill that would give the president "fast track" authority to negotiate a massive 12-nation trade pact, Frank Thorp V reports.

How does Obama talk about poverty differently with young black graduates than he does with the DC policy wonks? NBC’s Halimah Abdullah and Joy-Ann Reid report.

And because not being an expert in something has never stopped anyone in Washington from weighing in on an issue, here’s a look at what some in the nation’s capital are saying about the NFL’s DeflateGate decision.

And if you’ve been too busy Googling Jimmy Garoppolo and haven’t caught up with Jeb Bush’s Iraq problem, First Read can help you out with that right here.


BUSH: The Des Moines Register was first to report that Jeb Bush will opt out of the Iowa straw poll.

CLINTON: The Washington Post now has a running clock of how many minutes it has been since Hillary Clinton last answered a question.

WALKER: Lingering budget battles in Madison may impact his 2016 plans, the Washington Post writes.

SANDERS: Banking lobbyists aren’t worried he’ll win, but they are worried Sanders could pull Clinton left and take aim at the big banks, the Hill reports.


“ I recently sent two humor books that I wrote to Senator Ted Cruz, who had said there was not adequate humor in the Senate today. I hope he read them.”

  • Bob Dole, in an interview with Al Hunt


Hillary Clinton attends three fundraisers in New York City

Jeb Bush has two events in Nevada

Marco Rubio delivers a foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Chris Christie and Martin O’Malley are both in New Hampshire.