But as understandable as Bush's desire to be his own man is, there's virtually no chance it will (or should) happen the way he would like it to. There are a few reasons for that. Here they are, listed from the blindingly obvious to the slightly less so.
1. His last name is still Bush. (I did say these would be listed with the blindingly obvious first, right?) No matter what Jeb says or does, for a big swath of the electorate, he will always be the son and brother of presidents. That is generally regarded as a bad thing in a general election but already has proven beneficial in the crowded Republican primary field. (More on that below.)
2. Bush is relying on lots and lots of people who advised his dad and brother. As Philip Bump noted this morning, that's not terribly unusual given that George W. and George H.W. are the last two Republican presidents of the United States. It would be hard to swing a cat — not that we would advise doing so — in the Republican domestic and foreign policy establishments at the moment and avoid hitting someone without a direct tie to one of the Bush administrations. Still, relying on lots of the same people who advised your dad/brother — Paul Wolfowitz! — is not exactly the best way to prove your own-man-ness.
3. Bush gets lots and lots of benefits from his last name. His vast fundraising network — the one that will deliver him an eye-popping first quarter of fundraising later this spring — is built on his last name. Yes, of course, Jeb played a part in the construction of that network — particularly in Florida — but it's hard not to give his brother and his father some significant credit for it as well. If his last name was "Smith" and he had no ties to the last two Republican presidents, it's hard to imagine he would be in the fundraising place he is today. Ditto Bush's broader space in the race. He cut an impressive record as the two-term governor of Florida, but his last election was more than a decade ago. If his last name wasn't "Bush," would he be at or near the top of not only every poll but every political handicapping list of the 2016 Republican presidential race? Hard to imagine.
What Bush seems to be asking for in this speech is that he get the good parts of being a Bush without any of the possible negative connotations. That sort of have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too formulation never works in the context of a political campaign. Republicans won't — and shouldn't — let Hillary Clinton highlight the memorable parts of her husband's time in office while ignoring some of the low moments come 2016. Same goes for Jeb, no matter how much he says (or hopes) otherwise.