A self-described nerd, he is known to travel with policy journals and send all-hours inquiries to think tanks. (A sample Bush question: What are the top five ways to achieve 4 percent economic growth?)
These days, Mr. Bush peppers his speeches with statistics, academic-sounding references to “quintiles” and self-deprecating jokes about his own geekiness. A few weeks ago, he boasted to a crowd of Republican donors that he was “nerdy enough” to read City Journal, an obscure policy magazine published by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, then recited the names of his favorite writers at the publication.
...Inspired by Bill Gates, he sent out a request to current and former staff members for bold new ideas, serious or whimsical, and took the resulting stack of proposals with him on vacation for “think week.”
Not everyone was impressed. Democratic-leaning outsiders groused that his administration had been co-opted by conservative think tanks, like the Hoover, Cato and Manhattan institutes, whose proposals Mr. Bush openly borrowed.
Last month, Jeb spoke at the Manhattan Institute think tank awards dinner. His speech can be viewed here.
Jeb Bush joined the Board of Trustees at the Heritage Foundation in late 1995 (although he is no longer a board member), and Richard McAdams, the Heritage Foundation's Manager of Major Gifts (Florida), used to work for Jeb Bush. In November 2012, Heritage hosted a breakfast with Jeb Bush.
Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on Hillary Clinton's embrace of think tanks.