semi-dragged him (respectfully, because some respect is still due) over the touchy-feely thing, but here I go again:
Jeb Bush was not, even if Biden was just trying to be nice, "a hell of a governor". I guess that could be meant in a handful of ways. There is a backhanded way to be "a hell of" anything. Maybe he meant it as the "good job, Brownie" of damning with faint praise. ( "Hell of an" anything could also be seen as "praising with faint damn".) He could be saying Jeb governed the hell out of Florida, but in also having Scott and DeSantis (who actually somehow doesn't seem as bad as the least Bush or the lizardlike billionaire scam artist), there is a hella governing that has been and is being done.
There is a fascinating history of this kind of clipped false comity that could be unpacked here, from the topic of what "Minnesota nice" is really all about, to what the southern US term "Bless her/his/their heart" really means. For the unclued, there is a measured and important distance between "that is a great dress" and "that dress looks good on you" and a still further gulf to "that dress is interesting". It is meaningful to note that "a hell of a governor" is in the "interesting governor" state of affairs, but unfortunately, our modern age wants a little less conversation, and a little more action, baby.
It's a nice idea to think that there is a crossover thing where Democrats and Republicans can still find common ground and love on one another and do shit together like a comprehensive immigration bill or health care or whatever. But for a lot of Democrats, Jeb and his Sec of State and their handling of his brother's 2000 presidential election and the disenfranchisement of voters (still ongoing, witness Andrew Gillum's race and ongoing work) is a major sore spot. Also, the fake religiosity regarding the medically managed death of Terri Schiavo. Who was already very medically understood as being beyond repair.
Jeb! was ignorant about abortion. And Biden's history about this isn't historically ideal, any more than his position on segregation.
I don't even hate Joe Biden, I just think his time is past. Praising, even if with faint damn, Jeb Bush, who many Democrats will always see as the rotter brother who helped George W. steal an election, is a failure to have his finger on the pulse of where we are right now. Pink pussy hats should be viewed as a sort of war bonnet, and the approach to win the Democratic base needs to be exceptionally 21st century. We are not looking back and we are not finding the common ground. Tell us outright Jeb! sucked and Trump is worse. Say things plain. Even in public settings where it seems like damns should be forbidden.
GOP delenda est. Lather, rinse, repeat. GOP delenda est.