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Matthew Towery Columnist

Published Monday, March 12, 2012

Are three birds in the hand worth one in the Bush?

After the not so "Super" Tuesday results, pundits and experts predicted a much longer march to the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa, Fla. Many experts believe Mitt Romney will ultimately gain the required delegates to win the nomination prior to the convention. But talk of a so-called "open" convention, where no candidate has the needed votes and delegates might be free to choose the candidate of their own personal preference is increasing, as well.

The likelihood of such a scenario actually playing out remains relatively low. But should Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum capture the Texas primary, which by virtue of having been moved farther back of the schedule can qualify as a "winner take all" state, the race could be placed in a tailspin.

Dissatisfaction with the current GOP field seems high, but can easily be written off to candidates who have been overexposed through too many debates and a goofy string of "proportional" primaries and caucuses virtually guaranteed to make the candidates battle to the death. Regardless, the longer this GOP presidential road show lasts, the greater the chances that something occurs to actually force Republicans to abandon their "field of dreams" and examine alternatives.

Should this bizarre concept of a late summer brokered convention conducted in the hottest days in Florida actually take place, there are plenty of names that would be added to the current mix of candidates, including Sarah Palin, who explicitly said she would not shut the door on a nomination should it come her way. Palin has won over a vast number of conservative and Republican skeptics in the past few years by serving as a steady and thoughtful voice for her party. But I have a guess as to the name that the delegates, if given the choice to be free to choose on their own, would gravitate to in a hurry. That name is Jeb Bush.

It's not that the former Florida governor wants the thing. If Bush has plans for the White House, it would likely be four years from now, if at all. But given the fact that the nominee would have only two solid months to campaign against an increasingly strong Barack Obama, who will have money to spare and a media declaring the economy on a roll, it would take a seasoned superstar to rescue the GOP. The idea of a national convention filled with fighting and bargaining would be too much for anyone but a huge name with built-in connections and not a part of the war to survive.

Jeb Bush left his position as governor a very popular man. He was viewed by most as a conservative, creative and extremely savvy leader. The Republican-dominated legislature sometimes viewed him as a bit heavy handed, but that comes with the territory when one is a governor.

Most analysts would say "the country would never elect another Bush as president." They are nuts. Bush could debate Obama in a manner that would shock not only Democrats, but moderates as well. This guy is fast on his feet, knows public policy inside and out, and is no stranger to the presidency.

As for any comparisons to his father or brother and their presidencies, the nation would get a taste of the best of both men. There would be no question about whether Jeb Bush could meet the interests of the conservative side of the GOP. The good news is that he is strong in his convictions, and he is able to articulate them in a very positive way. There would be no ability for the press to unfairly characterize him as inarticulate or not bright. They got away with it to some extent under his brother's administration --which is pretty ironic because they drooled over interviews with him when he released his autobiography.

In the case of Jeb Bush, it is obvious you are dealing with a very smart guy who will get the best of most in any press conference or tangle with the media. It would be a blast to watch the media's frustration trying to deal with him.

The real issue is whether anyone could convince Bush to accept a nomination in 2012.

(Matthew Towery heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage. His column is distributed by Morris News and Creators' Syndicate.)

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  10. Obituary: Herbert Lee Emory, 61, of Douglasville, Georgia, passed away Saturday, April 12, 2014. He was born April 2, 1953 in Transylvania County, North Carolina, the son of Mrs. Joyce Sanders Emory and the late Mr. John Lee Emory. In 1971, he left his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and moved to Atlanta where he attended the Atlanta School of Broadcasting and National School of Broadcasting. He was a longtime WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News traffic reporter, and was referred to as “Captain Herb.” He had been with WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News since 1991. Captain Herb has served as an Atlanta traffic reporter since 1971. He previously was a News/Traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WSNE (Cumming), WDGL (Douglasville), WFOM (Marietta), WACX (Austell), WQXI-AM, 94Q-Star 94, Georgia Network News. Over the years, he spent many hours a week in a helicopter hovering over metro Atlanta’s traffic and was known as a friend to the Atlanta commuters. He had a great love for radio, NASCAR and community involvement. He hosted more charity events than any other WSB personality, including hosting the annual Toys for Tots fundraiser at Fred’s Barbecue House, Lithia Springs. Captain Herb hosted and produced the WSB Speed Shop auto racing, with his wife, Karen, from 1993 until 2011. He has earned at least 15 First Place Awards, including two Green Eyeshades, for news and traffic reports from the Georgia Associated Press Assoc. and other media organizations. He served as President of the Georgia Associated Press Broadcasters Association (GAPBA) in 1990/91 and served on the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the inaugural Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Award in 2012. He had a great love for Douglas County and was always willing to volunteer for community events, particularly those involving children, the military and veterans. He had a great respect for all First Responders across the nation and had a special friendship with members of the Douglas County Sheriff Department. He served on the Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park Board of Directors, and was a member of the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board. Captain Herb most recently emceed the homecoming for Olympic Medalist Elana Meyers and helped escort the "Remembering Our Fallen" exhibit with the American Legion Riders to the Douglas County Courthouse. He will be greatly missed by his family, coworkers, friends, neighbors and the community. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his son, Joseph Lee Emory his father-in-law, William Martinell; and uncle, Rev. Joseph Sanders. He is survived by his beloved wife of 24 years, Karen Emory of Douglasville; his mother, Joyce Sanders Emory of North Carolina; aunt, Doris C. Sanders of Florida; cousins, Loriane and John Lambert of Indiana and Debra Jo and Frank Bright of Florida, and J.J. Bright of Florida; mother-in-law, Joan Martinell of Newnan; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Lynn Wilson of Alpharetta, Patty and John Baker of Ft. Collins, CO, Robyn Adams of Senoia, and Bill and Sherry Martinell of Eugene, OR; five nephews, Ryan Wilson of Alpharetta, Russell and Kate Baker of Fort Collins, CO, Matthew Baker of Tampa, FL, Bryan Baker of Aspen, CO, and Patrick Baker of Denver, CO; one niece, Tayler Schnoor of Senoia; and adopted aunt, Geneva Gold of Newnan. Captain Herb’s impact was so eloquently stated by his colleague WSB’s Clark Howard: “He died of a heart attack, which is so ironic. This was a man who had more heart than anyone who I’ve ever had the privilege to know.” Anyone who had contact with Captain Herb, either in person or on the radio, will feel the loss of this great man. His family extended beyond his relatives especially to those members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and his WSB Family, who he loved so much. His love of his family, friends and community will live on in the hearts of all those who ever had contact with Captain Herb. The family will receive friends at Jones-Wynn Funeral Home in Douglasville Tuesday, April 15, from 3 until 5 p.m. and from 7 until 9 p.m. Private Family Memorial Services will be conducted. His WSB Family will conduct a Celebration and Memorial for the public at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Captain Herb Emory may be made to the Douglas County Animal Shelter, 8700 Hospital Drive, Douglasville, GA 30134 – http://www.eventbrite.com/e/donation-in-honor-and-memory-of-captain-herb-emory-registration-9364175501 or A Gift of Love Services, 3870 Longview Drive, Douglasville, GA 30135 –http://www.agiftofloveservices.org . Captain Herb would want everyone to keep a smile on your face and song in your heart. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.jones-wynn.com .
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