Now that the Democrats and Republicans have finally agreed on something -- that being to kick the can down the road, again, so as to give themselves a few more months, again, to put our fiscal house in order -- political pundits are assessing the damage from the government shutdown and default scare.
America's economy and image have taken a hit -- that is for sure -- and as for the players in this calamity, the general consensus seems to be that there are no winners; that no one came away looking good.
But there is one seasoned politician of national stature who is in a better position today than he was on October 1 when the federal government was partially shut down and efforts to raise the national debt stalled.
Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and likely participant in the 2016 GOP presidential sweepstakes, has been unaffected by the acrimonious two and a half weeks that saw his party accomplish nothing but the lowering of its national approval rating to 24 percent.
Jeb Bush stayed clear of the bitter battle between the GOP moderate and right-wing factions in Congress. Back in September, he publicly cautioned congressional Republicans against shutting down the government or threatening to allow the United States to default on its debts, but after October 1, he became conspicuously absent from appearances where public pronouncements would be expected.
He emerged again Thursday morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, a scant seven hours after President Obama affixed his signature to the agreement ending the Congressional stalemate. The appearance was brief, and was concentrated on education, not on the GOP divide.
So while other Republican presidential hopefuls in Congress try to explain their votes and their actions of recent weeks, and Chris Christie campaigns for another term as governor of New Jersey, Jeb Bush will be talking about education and other pressing issues of the day. He will come across as the adult in the room. His will be a voice of reason and party unity.
And the Republican electorate might just find in Jeb Bush what they are looking for in a presidential candidate.