BERLIN – After emerging from a 45-minute meeting here with Jeb Bush, the foreign minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told colleagues that what struck him most about the American was not the strength of his opinions but something simpler: the depth of his curiosity.
Mr. Bush, who will declare his candidacy for president on Monday in Florida, had impressed Mr. Steinmeier, a veteran of European policy and diplomacy, with a wide range of pointed questions about the Middle East, Ukraine and Greece. It was, declared a German official involved, “a broad tour d’horizon.”
When Mr. Bush’s brother George first ran for president, he erroneously referred to Greeks as “Grecians,” flubbed the name of India’s president and confused Slovenia with Slovakia, offering the world an unabashed portrait of provinciality.
But across Europe this week, Jeb Bush revealed himself to be a very different kind of Bush: well traveled, almost encyclopedically knowledgeable about foreign countries, and possessing the genuine inquisitiveness that his brother had so notably lacked.