March 31, 2014

IS THE FIX IN? The Political Party Elites have Spoken: It’s Bush vs. Clinton in 2016.

I have no objections to Jeb Bush running for President. He obviously has a wide appeal as a potential candidate. With a Mexican wife, and as a man who speaks fluent Spanish, he would be able to increase the Hispanic vote in the GOP column. On the other hand, many in the Republican base find his position on immigration untenable, and would fight him tooth and nail during primary season. He is also a serious advocate of education reform. His support of the Common Core, however, will also find many who are in the conservative ranks objecting, since they fear that the Core represents educational centralism and having the government ram federal standards down their throats.

What I do object to is that Bush is already being heralded as the obvious candidate, the man to whom the big money must and will flow. As The Washington Post reports, “Many of the Republican Party’s most powerful insiders and financiers have begun a behind-the-scenes campaign to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the 2016 presidential race, courting him and his intimates and starting talks on fundraising strategy.” . . .

What ever happened to letting members of the Republican Party choose their own candidate freely, and holding a convention in which delegates actually could make their own choice for the nominee? Evidently, that moment has already passed, and the folks who gave us McCain and Romney have already made up their minds.

Again, I do not necessarily agree with the arguments against a Bush run, but those arguments will be made, and the threat always is lurking in the wings that some conservatives, finding that their favored candidate is not likely to get the nod, will begin to talk about running a “real conservative” on an independent line in 2016. And such an act would siphon off just the right amount of votes to put Hillary Clinton in office.

Yep. A couple of thoughts. First, Christie was damaged goods before Bridgegate; he was never going to get the nomination. Second, do the people who think there’s a lot of demand out there for Jeb Bush talk to any, you know, actual voters? Because I’m not seeing it. . . .

Related: Paul Mirengoff: Jeb Bush in 2016? No thank you. “For me, Bush’s position on immigration, or at least some incarnations of it, is a deal breaker. If the Republican message in 2016 is going to be pro-illegal immigrant, maybe the attractive young Rubio should be the messenger. I hope the Republicans find a better standard bearer than both.” Only if they want their voters to show up at the polls.

Also: Steven Hayward: Jeb Bush? Not Sure This Is A Good Idea. “I believe Bush was a good governor of Florida and in the abstract would make a good president (though Obama has set the bar so low right now that anyone looks good), but can it really be a good thing for the nation to contemplate the specter of a Bush-Clinton race in 2012?”