Is Jeb Bush Actually a Moderate, or Does the Media Just Think He Is?
The upshot is that by challenging his party on one high-profile issue, Bush has to do less to seem moderate elsewhere, in the eyes of both the press and activists, when the general election rolls around. And somewhat fairly so! With the parties as polarized as they are, it is genuinely unusual for a candidate to forthrightly take on the base.
But, as both liberals and conservatives agree, Bush’s overall governing record has very little that’s moderate about it. So, in an interesting sense, Bush’s immigration position lets him have things both ways — it gives the media a peg to hang the moderate label on Bush, but as the right learns more about his record, it lets him tout that he is, otherwise, a down-the-line conservative.