The Gabfest on normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba, Jeb Bush’s presidential exploration, and the year in outrage on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Aren’t Republican Presidential Hopefuls Scared of Jeb Bush?

Why Aren’t Republican Presidential Hopefuls Scared of Jeb Bush?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Dec. 19 2014 10:46 AM

The “Why Close Guantánamo When You Can Open Havana?” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about normalizing relations with Cuba, Jeb Bush’s presidential exploration, and the year in online outrage.

The Political Gabfest has moved! Find new episodes here.


Become a fan of the Political Gabfest on Facebook. We post to the Facebook page throughout the week, so keep the conversation going by joining us there. Or follow us @SlateGabfest!

To listen to the discussion, use the player below:


For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, the hosts discuss the Sony decision to pull The Interview from theaters. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit and try it free for two weeks.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the agreement to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba with guest Will Dobson. They also talk about the possibility of a third Bush presidency and are joined by Slate editor-in-chief Julia Turner to debate the year in Internet outrage.

Here are some links to topics discussed on this week’s show:

  • Though recent presidents have opposed normalizing relations with Cuba because of the political sensitivity of the issue, the Obama administration now has significant public support to ease tensions. Obama won the Cuban vote in 2012, and a majority of Americans favor normalizing relations with the island nation.
  • Puerto Ricans are a growing voting bloc in Florida that tends to lean left.
  • Most Cubans still don’t have access to high-speed Internet access.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek suggested that Jeb Bush may face scrutiny and scorn over his private equity work with Barclays in a similar way to criticism of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.
  • Jeb Bush hasn’t run a race in 12 years.
  • Slate cataloged “The Year of Outrage,” noting the daily grievances big and small that resonated on social media.
  • Back in 2008, John wrote about how taking umbrage at perceived slights has become a key campaign strategy.
  • In 2010, David faced the ire of Fox News, who attacked him for comments on the Gabfest about punishing Wall Street bankers for the 2008 financial crisis.

John chatters about Hugh Sidey’s Life magazine article “The Pecksniffs Squeeze the Fun From a Joyless Bunch.”

Emily chatters about Sahil Kapur’s piece “ ‘Nuclear Option’ Helps Obama Reshape the Courts for a Generation.”

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest.

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Maxwell Tani.