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Jeb Bush: Too Many Burned Bridges to Run in 2016?

The establishment's leading candidate appears to be positioning himself for a serious run in 2016.

by
Rick Moran

Bio

March 5, 2013 - 12:34 am
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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother and son of presidents, was in the news on Monday, appearing on NBC’s Today show to hawk his new book on immigration reform.

But given the perpetual nature of our presidential campaigns, the conversation inevitably turned to the question of whether Governor Bush would run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. In response, Bush said:

[T]hat’s way off in the future. I have a voice. I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative moment and the Republican Party can regain its footing, because we’ve lost our way.

Pressed by host Matt Lauer on whether he would not rule out a run for president in 2016, Bush answered “I won’t. But I won’t declare it today either.”

The speculation isn’t idle. In addition to promoting his book Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution — publication of which was moved up several months in order to have an impact on the debate over immigration reform — Bush travels later this week to Coral Gables to pow-wow with GOP kingmakers at the party’s quarterly finance committee meeting. And then next week, Bush is scheduled to speak at CPAC, an event he claims to have reluctantly agreed to attend. When asked why he was going, he said:

“That’s a good question,” he says, shooting an exaggerated glare in the direction of some aides. “It’s because a lot of people urged me to do it.” He downplays expectations for the speech — “I’m going to be exhausted” — and praises other Republicans who are considering presidential runs, including fellow Floridian Sen. Marco Rubio.

Yes, it’s usually not useful trying to read the tea leaves nearly four years away from another brutal round of primaries. But in this case, we may want to make an exception. As important as the 2012 election was to the country and the Republican Party, 2016 is going to be the Alamo Election for the GOP. The party is already in the tall grass of American politics, blundering toward the wilderness, and another loss in 2016 — the 5th in the last seven presidential contests — would make the aftermath of the 2012 election look like a Hari Krishna convention. The bloodletting and splintering would have impossible-to-predict results, except that the national party would end up being even weaker and more disorganized than it is now — if that’s possible.

So it is important to us even at this early date to discover what Jeb Bush is thinking. That’s because he could win. He is a hugely talented politician who could raise a boatload of cash and have his pick of the top strategists in the party to develop a nationwide organization.

He also possesses a name that, at least today, is poison to the American people. More importantly, his harsh criticisms of Republicans over the last year has angered many key factions of the party. At the very least, he will have some serious fence-mending to do if he wants to compete in those primaries that will be decided by the conservative base.

Bush’s anger at the base of the GOP wouldn’t be so surprising if he didn’t echo the same criticism of the party made by Democrats. One year ago in Dallas, Bush made this comment in answer to a question:

“I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and. … I don’t think I’ve changed,” Bush said during an appearance Thursday, according to reports.

“But it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion,” he said, “rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are.”

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Top Rated Comments   
We don't need any more "company men" running for office, like stacked airplanes at a busy airport each waiting for their turn to run for office. BS we need dynamic, imaginative, fiscally and socially conservative to run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
F*ck Jeb Bush and the horse he rode in on! Enough with this dynasty nonsense. We could have just stayed part of the British Empire if we had wanted that sort of crap. Listen up GOP: nominate this squish or one like him in 2016 (Chris Christie seems the other Rove flavor of the month) and I WILL VOTE 3RD PARTY IN 2016! Is that clear enough for you or are some of the words too long for the Stupid Party [tm] to understand?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I like Jeb Bush, don't get me wrong. He's a fine man, has a lot of qualities I like, and did a swell job as Governor of Florida.

And if the GOP is considering running him in 2016, they may as well all commit Seppuku now and save us the pain. If they hand the Democrats anything with the label "Bush," the Democrats will have a field day.

''nuff said.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (55)
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We’d see “Zeb vrs Clinton” as the word “Bush” will still be a no-no. I can almost visualize Oct of 2015 when Gallup polls that 58% of Republicans think Zeb is the GOP contenders only name (something like Cher or Bono or something). Media Matters will be posting how Fox News has only aired the word “Bush” 14 times.

So Zeb releases a book 1 day saying we have to deny citizenship to unauthorized immigrants because it’s “absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences” only to go on Morning Joe the next day to flip-flop by supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

So it looks like Zeb has to distance himself from being a Bush or a Romney all while being a Bush and a Romney.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
His name alone hamstrings him. The Bush name stands for all that is RINO, collectivist, untrustworthy and stupid, in the Republican Party. With all that well deserved baggage he wouldn't stand a chance of winning. So, that said, he probably will be the nominee by the Republican Poo-bahs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Jeff ever aspired to be president his new book on immigration seals his fate, which is he will never be president. He is rehashing all he old bromides which includes virtual amnesty with all the privileges of an American citizen immediately, without the guarantee of closing the borders. We've heard this recording with prior amnesties and don't believe a word these people any more. The pretense is that they are going to write a new immigration policy that will really, really, really work this time. Don't make me LOL.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No voting rights should be granted to disrespectors of US sovereignty, ever, period.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another Bush being nominated by the GOP for the presidency may be the bests thing that can happen, to hasten the demise of the GOP and the rise of the Constitution Party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Jeb is an honorable man. He is just not a conservative! I prefer Rand Paul or Paul Ryan. Marco Rubio may be a little too flexible in his belief system, but I hope I'm wrong.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Too many Bushes spoil the pot.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
3 words: Terri Schindler Schiavo.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No more Bush's. I will not vote for any more siblings or wives or kids of anyone on any side. I especially will not vote for anyone who is in the elitist establishment of any party. I want new blood & I want someone who is going to let me keep more if not all I earn & my guns
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We don't need any more "company men" running for office, like stacked airplanes at a busy airport each waiting for their turn to run for office. BS we need dynamic, imaginative, fiscally and socially conservative to run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, please don't run Jeb. You can't win. We are tired of legacy candidates and you just aren't Conservative enough. Plus, you'd gave all of the baggage from your brother, etc. You're a nice guy and a trooper but we want some lese to run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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