George H.W. Bush says he is voting for Hillary Clinton. Oh well. Who announces they are voting for someone? That is the point. Remember Colin Powell said he was voting for Barack Obama. These public decisions and announcements are mostly symbolic but make no mistake, this is an attempt to sway some voters.
It is another chair thrown at Donald Trump as he tries to speak. Or maybe a few chairs. And some bottles. Metaphorically, of course. It is also further recognition that the Democratic Party is in its last throes of existence as the Democrats of FDR and Truman and all of those liberals of the 20th century who gave you the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society. Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the GOP, make no mistake, and the Democratic Party is the party of guys like Nelson Rockefeller now and those many Northern Republicans of yesteryear who have gone the way of the 8-track.
People forget that George H.W. Bush is a Northern Republican who moved to Texas to get into the oil business after graduating from Yale. His family is New England, and Republican deeply, and so, this vote is not actually that hard. Hillary Clinton has supported neoliberal policies for decades now. In the past, she, and her party, have been mostly in favor of fiscal austerity, privatization, trade deals and she has been a war hawk, not a dove. This is classic Rockefeller Republicanism or more aptly Prescott Bush (Bush’s father), the kind that had many Republicans in power generations ago and not openly rubbing elbows with unapologetic neo-Nazis and anti-government outliers.
Also remember why George H.W. Bush announced this vote too. He votes in Texas. Trump will win Texas by millions of votes. Bush’s vote is a throwaway vote for him but it is a message to the multitude of Republicans in other states that are in play: don’t vote for Trump, vote for Clinton. It is a safe vote because I am voting for her and I just told you so.
But none of this is big news. Trump is the scrouge of the earth to many mainstream GOP stalwarts. The list is long, much too long to list here. As the election gets closer only the hard right, the Trump faithful (Trump or death folks) or GOP members with something to gain with a Trump win will remain on board. To many, it is an embarrassment that Trump is actually this close to the office of President of the United States. For the rest of us, his rise is no surprise. He has been waiting to happen; his supporters have been waiting for him to arrive. He might just win. He can win. George H.W. Bush, a seasoned politician, probably knows that as well. This is specifically why he made his annoucement.